Monday, May 10, 2004

Road project lands in court

By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor

DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP - Warren County officials have gone to court to acquire property for an intersection improvement project.

A suit in Common Pleas Court seeks to acquire one parcel by eminent domain. Negotiations continue with at least two other landowners to acquire right of way for improvement of the intersection at Snider and Socialville-Foster roads.

The lawsuit, filed against Richard and Patricia Bene, seeks to acquire a permanent right-of-way easement from property on two Snider Road lots.

The intersection, a high-accident area prone to traffic delays, will be changed from two T configurations to a four-way intersection with a traffic signal and turn lanes, said Warren County Engineer Neil Tunison.

Richard Bene said a consultant acting on the county's behalf estimated his land's value, a total of 216 feet of property, at $3,000.

"I know they have to have it, but that's just ridiculous to offer $3,000," Bene said. "It'll cost me more than $3,000 to change the driveway around."

He said he'll have to add a turnaround driveway to his three-family building to allow access away from the street.

"Generally we've been successful in negotiating right of way. Doing it by eminent domain is really new to us," Tunison said.

Bene has already had a problem with a tenant who doesn't want to live so close to the road.

"I'm going to have a hard time renting this thing," he said.

Warren County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Bruce McGary said property owners are given time to get their own land appraisals before action is taken.

Tunison said the county is in litigation with Cincinnati Gas & Electric over who should move the electric poles located at the intersection. He hopes to complete the project by the end of the year.

Socialville-Foster Road will be closed beginning Wednesday for two weeks between Snider and Butler-Warren roads to prepare the realigned portion of Socialville-Foster that will be tied into the existing road.

Eminent domain is a major issue in some local communities. Several Norwood residents sued the city last year to stop it from taking their property by eminent domain for development.

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