By Mick and Lisa Coles, CPPR, Milan
It’s apparent that Erie MetroParks is intentionally misleading the public regarding the status of the Greenway debacle. Throughout our 15-year property battle with the Park Board, Citizens for the Protection of Property Rights has steered clear of the mudslinging and twisted words that were synonymous with the previous MetroParks commissioners. CPPR was hopeful the new MetroParks board would share our desire to address the facts and resolve this once and for all. Therefore, we’re disheartened by the recent MetroParks column in the Feb. 21 Sandusky Register, and other related articles. It’s absurd; we must correct the record.
MetroParks said: “Metroparks owns these properties today. Ownership is not in dispute.” Where do they get that? To be clear, the Supreme Court unanimously agreed that MetroParks forcefully took the land on which they constructed their “Greenway” without compensating the landowners. The court said the Park District’s physical invasion of our properties was an involuntary taking; such an involuntary taking does not transfer title or a right to possession. MetroParks has been ordered to begin appropriation (eminent domain) proceedings. Legal title and possession can only happen after Erie MetroParks has paid for the land and the costs assessed against them in the eminent domain proceedings. (ORC 163.15)
MetroParks’s self-serving “interpretation” of the Supreme Court’s ruling suggests the public should believe that because MetroParks has physically invaded our properties, they already own it