The State ex rel. Preschool Development, Ltd. v. City of Springboro

Supreme Court of Ohio, 2003.

99 Ohio St.3d 347, 792 N.E.2d 721.


Facts: PDL has a preschool along Route 73.  They had a curb cut so people could drive right into their lot.  The city repaved the road and removed the curb cut so people could only get to the preschool by way of the adjacent drug store.  PDL filed a complaint saying that eliminating the curb cut was a compensable taking under the United States and Ohio Constitutions and asked for a writ of mandamus forcing the city to hold appropriation proceedings.


Issue: Was the elimination of the curb cut a “taking”?


Rule: A property owner’s right of access to a public street cannot be “lawfully destroyed or unreasonably affected”.


Analysis: The majority finds that the elimination of the curb cut did not totally destroy nor unreasonably affect PDL’s access to Route 73.  There was still access to PDL through the drug store parking lot, and the court found that this wasn’t an unreasonable inconvenience.  The court may also have given weight to the fact that Springboro had previously told PDL that it would be safer to give customers access through the drug store in the first place (before the repaving).


The dissent says that the majority relies on the wrong case.  In OTR, the court found that a complete denial of access to the property isn’t necessary to constitute a taking.  That is, even if another way to access a property remains, the interference with an existing property right is a taking.


The dissent also notes that this property may not be a preschool forever, and the loss of the curb cut could reduce the value of the property if it is later sold to another business for which direct access is more important.


Conclusion: The writ of mandamus is denied.


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