Chapter 5551: ACQUISITION OF RAILWAY RIGHT OF WAY

5551.01 Acquisition of railway right of way definitions.

As used in sections 5551.01 to 5551.10 , inclusive, of the Revised Code:

(A) "Street or interurban railway company" includes any person, association, firm, or corporation owning any lands or property used for street or interurban railway purposes and any lessee thereof.

(B) "Road" includes any state or county road, or the street of any municipal corporation, or any part of such road or street, which forms a continuous road improvement.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5551.02 Acquiring right of way.

Whenever the right of way or other lands of any street or interurban railway company, owned by it in fee simple or in which it has a lesser title or estate, are contiguous to any public road outside a municipal corporation, other than roads upon the state highway system, or are so located that, in the opinion of the board of county commissioners, they interfere or may interfere with any proposed location, establishment, alteration, widening, straightening, vacation, or change in direction of such road, or with the construction of a road as provided in section 5555.02 of the Revised Code, and the board is of the opinion that it will be for the public convenience and welfare to acquire such lands or any part thereof and effect the removal, relocation, or both, of tracks, sidings, and other facilities of such company in connection with any proposed improvement or construction, the board may, in connection with proceedings, therefor and by agreement with the company, acquire such part or all of the right of way and other lands and affect such removal, relocation, or both, of such tracks, sidings, and other facilities as provided by sections 5551.01 to 5551.10 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5551.03 Resolution to acquire railway right of way.

The board of county commissioners may, by resolution adopted by unanimous vote, find that the public convenience and welfare require the acquisition of right of way of lands and the removal, relocation, or both, of tracks, sidings, and other facilities of a street or interurban railway company in connection with a proposed improvement or construction. The resolution shall state the location and extent of lands to be acquired and of any lands proposed to be conveyed to such company in exchange therefor if they are within or contiguous to the bounds of the road to be improved or constructed. After passage of the resolution all subsequent proceedings of the board with respect to such matters may be had by a majority vote.

When a petition, signed by at least fifty-one per cent of the land or lot owners who are to be specially assessed, praying for the acquisition of any part of such right of way or other lands and the removal, relocation, or both, of tracks, sidings, and other facilities is filed with the board as provided in section 5555.03 of the Revised Code, such matters may be determined and all orders with reference thereto made by a majority vote of the board, but otherwise the procedure shall be the same as where the commissioners proceed without a petition.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5551.04 Proceedings to acquire right of way.

Proceedings for the acquisition of the right of way or other lands of a street or interurban railway company, and removal, relocation, or both, of tracks, sidings, and other facilities located thereon, shall be had as provided in sections 163.01 to 163.22 , inclusive, of the Revised Code. The assessment of any part of the cost thereof shall be had as provided in section 5555.02 of the Revised Code. Such proceedings may be initiated and proceed concurrently with or as a part of the proceedings for the improvement or construction of a public road. If and to the extent that lands proposed to be conveyed by the board of county commissioners to such company, in exchange for the right of way or lands to be acquired from it by the board, are located outside the bounds of the road to be improved or constructed, all proceedings for the appropriation thereof by the board may be had separately, either during or after proceedings in respect to such improvement or construction.

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5551.05 Surveys and plans.

The surveys, plans, profiles, and cross sections required by the board of county commissioners to be prepared by the county engineer, in connection with a proposed road improvement or construction, shall show the right of way or other lands of the street or interurban railway company which it is proposed to acquire and the location of lands proposed to be exchanged therefor, to the extent that the lands to be exchanged are located within or contiguous to the bounds of such road.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5551.06 Transfer of right of way and removal of tracks.

Prior to or during the pendency of proceedings for improvement or construction of a road and the acquisition of such right of way, the board of county commissioners may enter into an agreement with any street or interurban railway company for the conveyance and transfer by such company to the board, in fee simple or such lesser estate or interest therein as the company may have, of such part or all of the right of way and other lands of the company as the board believes it for the public convenience and welfare to acquire, and for the removal, relocation, or both, of tracks, sidings, and other facilities of the company located thereon. Such agreement shall be conditioned upon the final determination of the board to proceed with such acquisition and removal after the determination by the courts pursuant to sections 163.01 to 163.22 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, of the compensation for such taking. The agreement may:

(A) Stipulate the value fo the right of way or lands of the company to be acquired by the board;

(B) Stipulate the cost or a maximum cost of removal of tracks, sidings, and other facilities therefrom and of relocation and reconstruction in such manner as not to interfere with the operation of the railway;

(C) Provide for the discharge and release of liens and encumbrances on such right of way and other lands;

(D) Provide that such removal, relocation, or both, be done by the company at such agreed cost or within such maximum cost;

(E) Provide the time of such removal, relocation, or both, which shall not be before the final determination by the board to proceed with such road improvement or construction;

(F) Provide for payment by the board to such company of the stipulated value of that part of its right of way and other lands to be acquired and the cost of removal, relocation, or both, of such tracks, sidings, and other facilities in any of the following ways:

(1) In money;

(2) By the conveyance in exchange therefor of other lands for a right of way or other proper railway uses;

(3) Partly in money and partly by such exchange.

Lands to be conveyed to the company, in exchange for such right of way and other lands, may be located wholly or partly within the bounds of the road, improvement or construction of which is proposed, or of any other public road outside of a municipal corporation, other than roads on the state highway system or wholly or partly outside the bounds of any public highway, and shall be specified in such agreement. Alternate routes and locations of lands proposed to be exchanged may be specified. The agreement may also contain provisions for the number of tracks and sidings on and the grade and maintenance of the new right of way to be conveyed to the company and for public roads across such right of way and their location and maintenance and other provisions necessary or proper for the public convenience and welfare.

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5551.07 Appropriation of right of way.

The board of county commissioners may appropriate such lands and property or any estate, easement, or right therein as are proposed to be conveyed to a street or interurban railway company in exchange for the right of way or other lands to be acquired from it, in the manner provided for in sections 163.01 to 163.22 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

If any part or all of the lands proposed to be conveyed to such company lies within the bounds of any public road outside a municipal corporation, other than roads on the state highway system, the board may so appropriate the title, estate, interest, and right of abutting owners or others therein, to acquire and perfect their title thereto in fee simple.

After such appropriation the board may, in pursuance and performance of the agreement between it and the company, execute and deliver to such company a conveyance of the lands appropriated, in fee simple or such lesser estate or interest therein as has been appropriated by them, in exchange in whole or part for the right of way or other lands to be conveyed to the board by such company, and receive a conveyance from the company of its right of way and other lands so to be acquired, in fee simple or such lesser estate or interest as the company may have.

If any part of the right of way or other lands so acquired are owned by the company as an estate less than fee simple, the board, as provided in this section, may proceed to perfect its title thereto in fee simple.

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5551.08 Apportionment of compensation, damages, costs, and expenses.

Any part of the compensation, damages, costs, and expenses of acquiring the right of way or other lands of a street or interurban railway company, including the appropriation of lands to be exchanged therefor, as provided in section 5551.07 of the Revised Code, and the cost and expense of removal, relocation, or both, of the tracks, sidings, and other facilities located thereon, may be apportioned and paid in any one of the methods provided in section 5555.41 of the Revised Code, as set forth in the petition therefor or, if no petition is filed, in the resolution of the board of county commissioners declaring the necessity thereof.

Effective Date: 01-01-1966

5551.09 Board of county commissioners may issue bonds.

The board of county commissioners may issue bonds as provided in sections 5555.44 and 5555.51 of the Revised Code in anticipation of the collection of taxes and assessments or any part thereof, for such compensation, damages, costs, and expenses specified in section 5551.08 of the Revised Code, which bonds may be issued separately from or included in any issue of bonds for improvement or construction of a public road in other respects.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5551.10 Jurisdiction of commission.

Sections 5551.01 to 5551.09 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, do not limit or impair the jurisdiction or control, which is or may be conferred upon the public utilities commission over the abandonment or change of route, termini, facilities, or service of any street or interurban railway company.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953