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Policy Position: Private Property Rights

Land Use/Zoning
Ohio REALTORS supports the right of a property owner to use their land as zoned. In addition, property owners shall not be denied variances or re-zoning by governmental authorities in an arbitrary and capricious manner and without providing due process and equal treatment as provided for in the constitution. Therefore, Ohio REALTORS opposes government interruption of an owners use such as down-zoning, prohibitions against development, and other limits placed on development and land use.

Private Property Rights and Eminent Domain
One of Ohio REALTORS core values includes the protection of private property rights. To this end, governments shall not arbitrarily infringe on the basic right of the individual to acquire, possess, use and freely transfer their real property.

When a government entity exercises its eminent domain authority, it should do so only when necessary to materially advance a real and substantial public purpose or benefit and after paying just compensation to the property owner, not only for the value of the property but also all other reasonable and necessary costs generated by the taking, including, but not limited to, hiring legal counsel, obtaining temporary housing, lost business revenue, and severance damages.

Such power should only be exercised with respect to property that is not blighted when it is pursuant to a comprehensive, objective economic development plan. The government should provide persuasive, objective evidence that the project, and the resulting public purpose or benefit, will in fact be realized.