Landfill-Park Case in Ohio Offers Interesting Issues


In attempting to acquire railroad land which was slated for use as a future landfill, the City has misplaced reliance on the existing zoning. The owner is dealing with the Surface Transportation Board at local level, offering a situation in which the view is five feet off the ground rather than 4,000 feet high. The issues involved are not only about money, but about the right to take.

The case is unlikely to have seen its last appellate ride.

The city argued that their action did not affect the railway because the property it seized did not have any railroad lines and that their plan to sell the land to be used as a landfill undermined their argument that they needed it for transportation.

The high court ruled that the fact the property had no tracks means it falls out of the jurisdiction of the STB, and selling the property to Total Waste Logistics would also ensure that it is not used for railway transportation.

The railroad also argued they may use the property for transportation in the future, but the high court said they have no concrete plans and are in fact selling the property and they have not developed it since purchasing it in 1997.

The land can only be used for park and recreation purposes, because that is the purpose designated for it by City Council, according to the city's attorney, Frank Bodor.

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