Dispute over Toledo, Ohio Road Heads to Mediation
Friday, November, 13, 2015
The dispute over Fort Meigs Road between the city of Perrysburg and residents living on the road will head to court-mandated mediation. The dispute is regarding the purchase of land to make the road wider.
The road widening project was scheduled to begin in 2016 with an estimated cost of $1.6 million. Eighty percent of the funding would come from the Ohio Department of Transportation. The city wants to widen the road between Five Points and Roachton Roads. The current stretch ranges from 18 to 22 feet wide without a curb. The city wants to widen the section to two 12-foot lands, add curbs, a bike path, gutters, and a sidewalk on the east side.
The project was put on hold when 21 homeowners on Fort Meigs Road filed a lawsuit objecting to the city’s plans to purchase property through eminent domain to make the project possible. Thus far, some of the residents have settled with the city, but 11 lawsuits remain unsettled.
A judge recently ruled the city could not use a quick-take provision to immediately buy the property from the homeowners, and ordered the parties to mediation. A future trial is planned to determine the amount of compensation each homeowners is owed. The quick-take provision would have permitted the local government to determine the property’s worth, file a lawsuit, and give the pre-determined amount to the court, enabling the city to take over the property and begin the project immediately. It is a common practice by the Ohio Department of Transportation, but local government has been accused of abusing it in recent years.