Eminent Domain Possible for Canal Winchester Lithopolis/Gender Project

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The City of Canal Winchester is currently negotiating for a right-of-way to build a traffic roundabout at Lithopolis and Gender Roads. If negotiations fail, the City could be forced to commence an eminent domain proceeding. Construction of the $3.7 million roundabout is scheduled for later this year.

At issue is a 1.3 acre parcel at 7900 Lithopolis Road. The owner of that parcel owns a total of 3.2 acres at the intersection. In exchange for the 1.3 acre parcel needed for the roundabout construction, the owner has requested a rezoning of the remaining 1.9 acres. The requested rezoning would potentially permit a new, small business to be located at the site.

Many residents turned out for a Canal Winchester City Council public hearing on March 3, voicing concerns over the requested rezoning. Can Winchester Development Director Lucas Haire stated that there are no current plans for development at the site. He reported that the property could not be used for either a gas station or convenience store without further approval from the City, adding that the most likely development potential would be for office space or hair salon. Haire said that the rezoning at this time – even without current development plans – is part of the negotiations for the right of way. If negotiations for the right of way break down, this could become an eminent domain proceeding, “which potentially would end up in a legal battle” and set construction of the roundabout back “indefinitely,” Haire said.

Clark, Perdue & List are Ohio eminent domain attorneys representing the interests of property owners facing eminent domain. If you are a property owner who has been notified that a governmental agency requires your property for a public use, you should seek immediate legal assistance to protect your rights.