Annexation of Central State land into Xenia approved by Ohio Supreme Court

ajc.com

The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously approved Xenia’s annexation of land used by Central State University, which will allow the city receive income tax revenue from the university and for Central State to use the city’s services without paying a surcharge.

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The 41-acre strip of bike trail the city is annexing connects to a 4.5 acre of Central State land.

The case centered around the way Xenia and the university would be connected.

The court’s opinion noted that it previously disfavored “strip,” “shoestring” or “corridor” annexations, but reforms adopted by Ohio in 2001 permit them.

The decision allows Xenia to collect income tax from Central State’s 350 employees and for the university to no longer pay a surcharge on water, sewer, fire and emergency medical services.

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Xenia initially filed for the annexation, with Central State’s support, to Greene County commissioners, but Xenia Twp. filed an objection.

“The township trustees urged the county to deny the petition, which the county did after determining that the city’s petition did not satisfy [the type-2 annexation process],” read the ruling.

Xenia appealed the decision in the Second District Appeals Court and won, but then the county appealed, resulting in case going before the Ohio Supreme Court.

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“Under what we have termed the ‘traditional’ method of annexation, a board must consider whether ‘the general good of the territory proposed to be annexed will be served’ by the annexation,” the ruling read.

However, the court noted the annexation met all seven conditions required and therefore commission did not have the discretion to deny the annexation.