Why does the State of Ohio still own canal land?
In the 1800s land was purchased by the state of Ohio for the construction of the Miami and Erie and Ohio and Erie Canals. After the canals were no longer viable, some of this land was developed and some of it was sold. Nonetheless, the state still owns a significant amount of canal land in Ohio. This state owned corridor generally falls into four categories:
- State owned canal land currently managed by counties, park districts or other political subdivisions for the benefit of the public. The State of Ohio has entered, and will continue to enter into many long term lease management agreements for the public benefit.
- State owned canal land held in the public trust as an important part of a local hydraulic and/or storm water management system.
- State owned canal land, both vacant and in private use, held in the public trust for potential future recreational use or because of environmental or historical significance.
- State owned canal land, both vacant and in private use, that does not have recreational, historic, environmental, or hydraulic significance and is surplus to the needs of the State.
How do I know if I need a canal lease?
If an individual, public utility, commercial enterprise or other entity wishes to use state owned canal land, they must lease or request to purchase (link to sales page) that canal land. Common situations where a lease is required include:
- All or part of a privately owned structure (house, garage, shed, porch, business building, loading dock, etc) has been or will be constructed on state owned canal land.
- A privately owned parking area, driveway, bridge, patio, dock or other improvement has been or will be made to state owned canal land.
- Use of state owned canal land is desired. For example, the canal land is situated in such a way that it functions as someone’s backyard.
- Utility crossings.
What are the terms of a canal land lease?
Most leases are written for 15 years. Each summer the lessee will receive an annual rent invoice. Due to administrative costs, monthly or quarterly payments are not permitted. Since the value of real estate changes over time – the State of Ohio reserves the right to revaluate the annual rent for all leases every 5 years.
How much will it cost to lease canal land?
For commercial property the annual minimum rent is $500. For residential property the annual minimum is $150. Beyond that, rent is strictly based on local real estate values obtained from the applicable county auditor, so if the lease value is greater than $500 or $150, the applicable minimum amounts, the larger value amount will be the annual rent. A one time lease writing fee of $250 applies to all new leases.
How do I request a canal lands lease?
Individuals and commercial entities wishing to lease canal land must complete an Application for Use of Canal Land (link to pdf). The completed application and all associated attachments should be sent, emailed or faxed to the Canal Lands Coordinator at the address below.