Seitz analogizes Lake Erie property owners to oppressed African-Americans?

No, seriously – I totally do not get this. The Daily Briefing reports on a court tussle between Ohio Department of Natural Resources and owners of property on Lake Erie regarding where property lines should be drawn.  Water touching land is one aspect, but property owners adding soil/sand to their property, most likely to combat erosion, is another aspect.  So then the article has this:

Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, called the Department of Natural Resources a “rogue agency that continues to be the force of oppression on lakefront property owners.”

“It is appropriate we have this press conference here today in the George Washington Williams room, because as one of Ohio’s first African American legislators, he typified the struggle of citizens against oppression,” Seitz said. “And the lakefront property owners have been for at least six years the victim of bureaucratic oppression claiming they have to pay for that which is already specified in their deeds.

“They have had to take this struggle, as the African American community took this struggle, to the courts and found vindication in the courts.”

Really? “Six years…of bureaucratic oppression” equals the “the struggle of [African-American] citizens against oppression”?  I’m sure it is an absolute nightmare for the property owners to have to wage a legal battle over this.  And it’s a fascinating legal and governmental issue to me.

But comparable to the African-American struggle against oppression? Emmm…no.  Don’t even have to think about that one.

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12 thoughts on “Seitz analogizes Lake Erie property owners to oppressed African-Americans?

  1. Show me the property deeds, take me to any county courthouse along the Lake Erie shore, and show me the title the state has to the entirety of the shoreline of Lake Erie.

    There is no such documentation because the state has no ownership of it.

    So if the state wants to own the entire shoreline of Lake Erie, it would have to purchase it from those who are the actual owners of such lands, according to the U.S. Constitution:

    ” . . . nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”

  2. it appears that you have extensive experience performing boundary surveys along Lake Erie, the Ohio River and all parts between along with post-graduate degrees in surveying and law.

    low water marks have been used in describing boundaries as well as terms like “water’s edge, shore, high water mark, mean high water, etc. but one fact remains, the federal and state’s authority and the public rights, if any, to those water resources are superior to the individual’s right as a landowner.

    please explain to me how anyone is to demarcate the line when it is described to “the low water mark”. by its very description it is always submerged and therefore is junior to the right of the state.

  3. sorry, but your facts have been blurred by bill seitz and his cronies.

    kentucky surveys did not set the boundary at the low water mark of the ohio river, the u.s. supreme court did about 75 years AFTER kentucky was admitted into the union.

  4. Kentucky was made a state before Ohio. When Kentucky was surveyed, the Ohio River was part of it. The boundary was set by the low water mark on the opposite shore.

    Boundaries along the seashore are surveyed at low tide.

    Land surveys traditionally, from the earliest days of the nation, used the low water mark. Property owners are entitled to all the land up to the historical low water mark.

  5. my “argument” is reality, you must not be familiar with such locations as downtown Cleveland, Toledo, Conneaut, Ashtabula, Sandusky, Port Clinton, Lorain, Huron or Vermilion.
    bottomline the “government” cannot convey the public’s rights to public areas.

  6. Your argument is overreaching, as it is rare, but the only instances I can think of where such even happened, the government granted the landowner the authority to do so through the EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and local zoning and permitting processes, so the government has already acknowledged property ownership in those instances.

  7. how about when a landowner fills acres from their original boundary out into the water? whether that happened in 1910 or 2010 does that change the boundary and now they own additional acreage?

    that defies common law associated with real property for hundreds of years.

  8. Even if you use the location of the lake as the defining boundary, then any land beyond the lake is included in the property. There is still no mechanism for any lakeshore land to be owned by ODNR.

  9. Clearly someone that has no understanding of real property law would side on the rogue Ohio Lakefront Group (i.e. Seitz). When the natural boundary of Lake Erie is cited in a description within a real property deed the location of the lake is controlling and any distance, bearing and/or acreage has virtually no meaning.

    Please do not believe me…just refer to dozens of U.S. Supreme Court cases that have identified what is commonly known as “hierarchy of calls within a description”.

    Oh by the way, to liken the “struggles” of private property owners that have title to million dollar homes along Lake Erie to the history of slavery, discrimination and other oppression that the African-Amercian community has dealt with for hundreds of years is disgusting.

    Shame on you Bill Seitz to politicize this issue and take a shot at Ted Strickland in this election year. If you want a “tool” to bash Strickland don’t use a governmental agency or environmental non-profit group to be your whip. Pathetic!

  10. I agree that Seitz profoundly minimalizes the record of oppression against African-Americans with this analogy.

    Having said that, I’ve always been on the side of the property owners. Their property deeds clearly give them title to all the land down to the historical low-water mark. To grant the ODNR’s wish would be to invalidate thousands upon thousands of property deeds, and would offer no eminent domain compensation to private property owners for the public access that ODNR seeks to seize.

    Environmentally, one only need spend as much time along the lakeshore as I have to see that the stretches of shoreline with public access are terribly littered and not maintained well compared with the private property owners who take great pride in their lakeshore properties and do the backbreaking cleanup work necessary to maintain the shore in good condition.

    Strangely, the environmental lobby doesn’t see it that way, urging that the public have access to the entire lakeshore. Sweden has a legal precedent for such public access to natural habitats, but it’s actually a black mark against their environmental record, as far as I’m concerned. Endangered plant species get trampled and indigenous mammal species have been chased away to neighboring Norway and Finland because of Sweden’s public access policy. Biodiversity in Sweden has eroded bit by bit by bit. I don’t think such policy is worth emulating here, and certainly not in violation of private property rights.

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