Ohio Republicans want to veto eminent domain for recreational trails

Josh Staley on his Paris Township property which he fears might be in threat from eminent domain for bike and walking trails.   A bill in the Ohio legislature (HB 63) would let local city councils, township trustees veto the taking of these properties through eminent domain when its for recreational purposes. Wednesday, March, 3, 2021.

A proposed bike trail would run through the middle of Michael Cameron's Mahoning Valley farm. It would landlock 30 acres of Diane Less' property, and run 44-feet from Tom Hough's door.  

None of them like it. None of them want to give their land to Mill Creek MetroParks. But none of them have a choice. 

The Takings Clause in the Fifth Amendment lets governments force the sale or easement of private land for "public good." Usually, that means a road or highway, but Ohio lets park districts use it when they want to build recreational trails. 

The farmers say the whole process has been awful and unfair. The metropark says it has bent over backwards for the landowners. And a pair of Republican state representatives think the whole mess is a sign the state needs to rethink how eminent domain works.

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