Chapter 1520: CANAL LANDS

1520.01 Canal lands definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(A) "Canal lands" includes any part of the bed, berm, bank, or slope of any canal, canal basin, or canal reservoir or of any lock, aqueduct, dam, culvert, tunnel, feeder, or side cut formerly a part of any canal system in this state, whether or not abandoned; the outer slope of any towing path embankment formerly a part of any canal system in this state; and any tract of land that was a part of or intended for the use of any canal system in this state. "Canal lands" means only those canal lands that are the property of the state.

(B) "Canal reservoir" means any artificial lake or impoundment that was constructed to provide water to any canal system in this state.

(C) "Domestic use" means the withdrawal of water from a canal or canal reservoir by an individual for outdoor, nonpotable use on residential property by means of a pump or other device that generally has a discharge line with an outside diameter of not more than one and one-half inches.

Effective Date: 03-18-1999

1520.02 Director of natural resources exclusive authority to administer, manage, and establish policies governing canal lands.

(A) The director of natural resources has exclusive authority to administer, manage, and establish policies governing canal lands.

(B)

(1) The director may sell, lease, exchange, give, or grant all or part of the state's interest in any canal lands in accordance with section 1501.01 of the Revised Code. The director may stipulate that an appraisal or survey need not be conducted for, and may establish any terms or conditions that the director determines appropriate for, any such conveyance.

Prior to proposing the conveyance of any canal lands, the director shall consider the local government needs and economic development potential with respect to the canal lands and the recreational, ecological, and historical value of the canal lands. In addition, the conveyance of canal lands shall be conducted in accordance with the director's policies governing the protection and conservation of canal lands established under this section.

(2) With regard to canal lands, the chief of the division of parks and recreation, with the approval of the director, may sell, lease, or transfer minerals or mineral rights when the chief, with the approval of the director, determines that the sale, lease, or transfer is in the best interest of the state.

Consideration for minerals and mineral rights shall be by rental or on a royalty basis as prescribed by the chief, with the approval of the director, and payable as prescribed by contract. Moneys collected under division (B)(2) of this section shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the canal lands fund created in section 1520.05 of the Revised Code.

(C) The director may transfer to the Ohio historical society any equipment, maps, and records used on or related to canal lands that are of historical interest and that are not needed by the director to administer this chapter.

(D) If the director determines that any canal lands are a necessary part of a county's drainage or ditch system and are not needed for any purpose of the department of natural resources, the director may sell, grant, or otherwise convey those canal lands to that county in accordance with division (B) of this section. The board of county commissioners shall accept the transfer of canal lands.

(E) Notwithstanding any other section of the Revised Code, the county auditor shall transfer any canal lands conveyed under this section, and the county recorder shall record the deed for those lands in accordance with section 317.12 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 7/17/2009.

Effective Date: 03-18-1999; 2006 HB699 03-29-2007; 04-06-2007

1520.03 Powers and duties of director of natural resources over canal lands.

(A) The director of natural resources may appropriate real property in accordance with Chapter 163. of the Revised Code for the purpose of administering this chapter.

(B)

(1) The director shall operate and maintain all canals and canal reservoirs owned by the state except those canals that are operated by the Ohio historical society on July 1, 1989.

(2) On behalf of the director, the division of parks and recreation shall have the care and control of all canals and canal reservoirs owned by the state, the water in them, and canal lands and shall protect, operate, and maintain them and keep them in repair. The chief of the division of parks and recreation may remove obstructions from or on them and shall make any alterations or changes in or to them and construct any feeders, dikes, reservoirs, dams, locks, or other works, devices, or improvements in or on them that are necessary in the discharge of the chief's duties.

In accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, the chief may adopt, amend, and rescind rules that are necessary for the administration of this division.

(C) The director may sell or lease water from any canal or canal reservoir that the director operates and maintains only to the extent that the water is in excess of the quantity that is required for navigation, recreation, and wildlife purposes. With the approval of the director, the chief may adopt, amend, and rescind rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code necessary to administer this division.

The withdrawal of water from any canal or canal reservoir for domestic use is exempt from this division. However, the director may require water conservation measures for water that is withdrawn from any canal or canal reservoir for domestic use during drought conditions or other emergencies declared by the governor.

(D) No person shall take or divert water from any canal or canal reservoir operated and maintained by the director except in accordance with division (C) of this section.

(E) At the request of the director, the attorney general may commence a civil action for civil penalties and injunctions, in a court of common pleas, against any person who has violated or is violating division (D) of this section. The court of common pleas in which an action for injunctive relief is filed has jurisdiction to and shall grant preliminary and permanent injunctive relief upon a showing that the person against whom the action is brought has violated or is violating that division.

Upon a finding of a violation, the court shall assess a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each day of each violation if the violator is an individual who took or diverted the water in question for residential or agricultural use. The court shall assess a civil penalty of not more than five thousand dollars for each day of each violation if the violator is any other person who took or diverted the water in question for industrial or commercial use excluding agricultural use. Moneys from civil penalties assessed under this division shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the canal lands fund created in section 1520.05 of the Revised Code.

Any action under this division is a civil action, governed by the rules of civil procedure and other rules of practice and procedure applicable to civil actions.

(F) As used in this section, "person" means any agency of this state, any political subdivision of this state or of the United States, or any legal entity defined as a person under section 1.59 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 7/17/2009.

Effective Date: 03-18-1999; 04-06-2007

1520.04 Failure to pay rentals - mortgage foreclosure suit.

(A) If any person who has entered into a lease with the director of natural resources under section 1520.02 or 1520.03 of the Revised Code fails to pay any rental agreed to be paid in the lease at the time specified in the lease, whether or not a demand for the rental is made, the director may declare the lease void and may sell, lease, exchange, give, or grant the canal lands or sell or lease the water that was the subject of the original lease to another person in accordance with those sections, as applicable.

(B) When any building that is sold on foreclosure in a delinquent tax suit or in a mortgage foreclosure suit is located on canal lands that have been leased under section 1520.02 of the Revised Code, the director shall either transfer to the purchaser of the building the original lease that was executed under that section or cancel the original lease and sell, lease, exchange, give, or grant the canal lands to the purchaser of the building in accordance with that section.

Effective Date: 07-01-1989

1520.05 Canal lands fund.

There is hereby created in the state treasury the canal lands fund, which shall be composed of all moneys received by the director of natural resources under sections 1520.02 and 1520.03 of the Revised Code, all civil penalties assessed under section 1520.03 of the Revised Code, and any moneys appropriated to it. The fund shall be administered by the director, who shall spend moneys in the fund for the purposes of administering and enforcing this chapter . The director may spend any surplus moneys in the fund, as determined by the director, for any other programs operated by the department of natural resources.

Effective Date: 07-01-1989; 04-06-2007

1520.06 Wabash-Erie canal lands.

Whenever it is necessary, in any civil action or criminal proceeding, to prove the title of the state to any lands granted by an act of congress entitled "an act to grant a certain quantity of land to the state of Indiana, for the purpose of aiding said state in opening a canal to connect the waters of the Wabash river with those of Lake Erie," passed March 2, 1827, and which were, by the state of Indiana, transferred to the state of Ohio by a joint resolution of the general assembly of Indiana, approved February 1, 1834, and such lands as have been or may be conveyed by the state of Ohio to any person, the deed of the state of Ohio, conveying the same, is prima-facie evidence that the title to the land conveyed was in the state of Ohio at the time of the execution of the conveyance.

Effective Date: 07-01-1989

1520.07 Sale of timber or spoils of a dredging operation.

(A) The director of natural resources may give away or sell timber that has fallen on or been removed for maintenance reasons from canal lands.

(B) The director may give away or sell the spoils of a dredging operation conducted by the department of natural resources in waters under the control and management of the department. Prior to giving away or selling any spoils under this division, the director shall notify the director of environmental protection of that intent so that the director of environmental protection may determine whether the spoils constitute solid wastes or hazardous waste, as those terms are defined in section 3734.01 of the Revised Code, that shall be disposed of in accordance with Chapter 3734. of the Revised Code. If the director of environmental protection does not notify the director of natural resources within thirty days after receiving notice of the gift or sale that the spoils shall be disposed of in accordance with Chapter 3734. of the Revised Code, the director of natural resources may proceed with the gift or sale.

(C) Proceeds from the sale of timber or dredge spoils under this section shall be deposited into the state treasury to the credit of the canal lands fund created in section 1520.05 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-20-1994; 04-06-2007

1520.99 Penalty.

Whoever violates division (D) of section 1520.03 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. Each day of violation constitutes a separate offense.

Effective Date: 10-20-1994