Non-profit asserts eminent domain to regain golf course property

| Jan 6, 2021 | Eminent Domain |

In Ohio, eminent domain is an aspect of the law in which property can be purchased from its owner for public use even if the owner does not want to sell. This can impact people and businesses alike and often results in a dispute. These disagreements frequently escalate and end up in litigation. Examples of eminent domain can be worrisome to property owners, but it can also serve as a guideline of how to respond when federal, state or local governments seek to use it to take the property.

Eminent domain cited in dispute over historical site

An ongoing case involves a golf course where an ancient culture resided and whose architecture was said to have been covered by the construction. The lack of accessibility for earthwork on the site known as the Octagon has been the catalyst for the dispute. The historical society wants the public to have easier access, but the golf course is said to interfere with that. The non-profit owns the site and has for 88 years. However, the golf club has a lease that lasts for another 57 years. Since the golf club is not for sale, eminent domain is being used to buy it back. The Ohio Supreme Court is going to hear the case after a lower court decided that it could be taken via eminent domain.

Property owners should be aware of eminent domain laws

People might be surprised when they discover that their property can be subject to eminent domain. This is a longstanding law that is designed to protect historical sites, serve the public good and provide owners with just compensation. People have various concerns when they are confronted with eminent domain. It is legally possible to challenge eminent domain, seek what they determine is fair compensation, and to understand the available alternatives. While people might not relate to the golf club and the historical site, it can give clues as to how the eminent domain process works and be beneficial in a case.

A firm experienced with eminent domain can be helpful

Even though eminent domain requires that the property owner be given “fair” compensation, that does not mean that the person wants to surrender it. The government’s analysis of how “fair” is defined could differ from the owner’s. Or the owner might simply not want to move from a home or a business. Having legal assistance is essential to address concerns whether that is fighting the attempt to take the property, coming to an agreement on how much is paid for it, or for any other factor. Calling for a consultation can provide guidance and help.