163.04 Notice of intent to acquire - purchase offer - inability to agree.

(A) At least thirty days before filing a petition pursuant to section 163.05 of the Revised Code, an agency shall provide notice to the owner of the agency's intent to acquire the property. The notice shall be substantially in the form set forth in section 163.041 of the Revised Code. The notice shall be delivered personally on, or by certified mail to, the owner of the property or the owner's designated representative.

(B) Together with the notice that division (A) of this section requires, or after providing that notice but not less than thirty days before filing a petition pursuant to section 163.05 of the Revised Code, an agency shall provide an owner with a written good faith offer to purchase the property. The agency may revise that offer if before commencing an appropriation proceeding the agency becomes aware of conditions indigenous to the property that could not reasonably have been discovered at the time of the initial good faith offer or if the agency and the owner exchange appraisals prior to the filing of the petition.

(C) An agency may appropriate real property only after the agency obtains an appraisal of the property and provides a copy of the appraisal to the owner or, if more than one, each owner or to the guardian or trustee of each owner. The agency need not provide an owner with a copy of the appraisal when that owner is incapable of contracting in person or by agent to convey the property and has no guardian or trustee or is unknown, or the residence of the owner cannot with reasonable diligence be ascertained. When the appraisal indicates that the property is worth less than ten thousand dollars, the agency need only provide an owner, guardian, or trustee with a summary of the appraisal. The agency shall provide the copy or summary of the appraisal to an owner, guardian, or trustee at or before the time the agency makes its first offer to purchase the property. A public utility or the head of a public agency may prescribe a procedure to waive the appraisal in cases involving the acquisition by sale or donation of property with a fair market value of ten thousand dollars or less.

(D) An agency may appropriate real property only after the agency is unable to agree on a conveyance or the terms of a conveyance, for any reason, with any owner or the guardian or trustee of any owner unless each owner is incapable of contracting in person or by agent to convey the property and has no guardian or trustee, each owner is unknown, or the residence of each owner is unknown to the agency and the residence of no owner can with reasonable diligence be ascertained.

(E) An agency may appropriate real property for projects that will disrupt the flow of traffic or impede access to property only after the agency makes reasonable efforts to plan the project in a way that will limit those effects. This division does not apply to an agency if it initiated the project for which it appropriates the property under Title LV of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 01-01-1966; 2007 SB7 10-10-2007