Short story: it’s a win, but the eminent domain advocates aren’t going to give up. I would write something long-winded about this amazingly good decision for Ohio property owners but it Reason Hit & Run already has the best commentary linkfest:
The Ohio Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the city of Norwood’s attempt to take property in an allegedly “deteriorating” neighborhood and hand it over to a private developer. The court called the “deteriorating” label, applied to areas that are admittedly not “blighted” but might (or might not) become so one day, a “standardless standard,” and it rejected the “economic development” rationale for the use of eminent domain that the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed in Kelo v. New London. The Institute for Justice, which represented the property owners in the case, calls the decision “a complete and total victory for Carl and Joy Gamble, Joe Horney, the Burtons and every home and business owner in the State of Ohio.”
Here is the opinion.
Something I can add is that Bill Peirce, who is running for governor of Ohio, has stated that the proposed Constitutional Amendment to protect homeowners will likely remain part of his campaign platform, as he relayed his thoughts via email:
It is a huge win for the Norwood people, but (1) we are still figuring out what damage can still be done to homeowners and small businesses, and (2) the counterattack will begin at next Monday’s Task Force meeting–there is talk of a Constitutional Amendment to allow e.d. for econ development.
It looks like Ohio is still taking shape for the eminent domain battle, with things lining up to be a fight between homeowners and developers.
[disclaimer: Stephen VanDyke is an avid supporter and ally of the Peirce for Ohio Governor campaign and has received payment in association with his work for them. His opinion here is not paid for or endorsed by the candidate]