Legislative Service Commission
128th General Assembly
Sens. Wagoner and Fedor, Goodman, Jones, Schiavoni, Strahorn, Patton
· Authorizes the board of county commissioners of a county having a population exceeding 100,000 or between 78,000 and 81,000 to create a county land reutilization corporation (CLRC).
· Requires the board of directors of a CLRC to be composed of five, seven, or nine members.
· Eliminates the required approval by municipal chief executives of CLRC board members after selection by the county treasurer and county commissioners.
· Protects CLRCs from liability for equitable remedies and damages arising from the breach of common law duties or statutory violations committed by a CLRC or other person.
· The bill authorizes the county treasurer of all counties in which a CLRC operates to invoke a potentially shorter period of time within which a property owner can redeem tax-foreclosed property by paying the tax debt.
Sub. S.B. 353 of the 127th General Assembly authorized the creation of a type of "community improvement corporation" known as a "county land reutilization corporation" (CLRC) under R.C. 1724.04 in counties with a population of greater than 1.2 million (currently Cuyahoga County). The purpose of CLRCs is to assist other entities in assembling, clearing, and clearing title of property in a coordinated manner and to promote economic and housing development in the county or region. (For more information regarding the extent of the authority granted to CLRCs, see the LSC final analysis for Sub. S.B. 353.)
The bill authorizes the boards of county commissioners of counties having a population exceeding 100,000 and between 78,000 and 81,000 to create a CLRC. Population would be determined as of the most recent decennial census.
Board of directors composition
The bill requires that the board of directors of a CLRC be composed of five, seven, or nine members, including the county treasurer and at least two of the members of the board of county commissioners. The other members of the board of directors are selected by the county treasurer and the county commissioners who are on the corporation's board, but the bill eliminates a requirement that the other members be approved by the majority of the chief executives of municipal corporations located mostly in the county.
Existing law requires the board of directors of a CLRC to be composed of at least five members, including the county treasurer, two of the members of the board of county commissioners, and two members selected by the county treasurer and the county commissioners who are on the board, and approved by the majority of the chief executives of municipal corporations located mostly in the county. The approval must be obtained in a manner prescribed by the treasurer and the county commissioners who are on the board.
Limits of liability
The bill protects CLRCs from liability for equitable remedies and damages arising from the breach of "common law" duties, e.g., those associated with negligence.
Existing law protects CLRCs from liability arising specifically from damage caused by leaking underground storage tanks, air pollution, sewage waste, and hazardous wastes and chemicals under R.C. Chapters 3704., 3734., 3737., 3745., 3746., 3750., 3751., 3752., 6101., and 6111., and from violation of any rules adopted, or order, permit, license, variance, or plan approval issued, under those chapters that was committed by another person in connection with property a CLRC acquires.
The bill's protection from liability applies regardless of whether the breaches or violations are committed by the CLRC or by other persons.
Foreclosure procedure: right of redemption
After a tax foreclosure action is initiated, a property owner can "redeem" the property by paying the debt for which the property is being foreclosed. Before S.B. 353 of the 127th General Assembly, the right to redeem continued until the filing of an entry of confirmation of sale or transfer, which occurs after the property is sold in a tax sale auction. S.B. 353 created an alternative redemption period and authorized it to be invoked by the county treasurer of a county having a population of more than 1.2 million (i.e., only in the one county, Cuyahoga County, where a CLRC could be created). The alternative redemption period potentially shortens the time within which an owner or other interested party may redeem abandoned tax-foreclosed property. The alternative redemption period is the 45-day period after an adjudication of foreclosure is journalized by a court or county board of revision.
The bill authorizes the county treasurer of all counties in which a CLRC operates, not just those having a population exceeding 1.2 million, to invoke the alternative redemption period.
 According to the Department of Development, 27 counties had a 2000 population exceeding 100,000; in 2004, 28 counties had a projected 2010 population exceeding 100,000. One county, Scioto County, had a 2000 population of between 78,000 and 81,000, and that county and Ross County have a projected 2010 population within that range.