Ohio Turnpike Commission v Spellman Outdoor Advertising Services

Ohio Sixth Appellate District Court of Appeals No. E-09-038, April 16, 2010

Holds that land deriving title from grantor of restrictive covenant to a state agency is not subject to the covenant because the deeds subsequent to the recording of the covenant did not mention the covenant and the owner had no actual knowledge of it. The land in question (Salmons Parcel) was part of a larger parcel. The part of the larger parcel other than the Salmons Parcel was deeded to Ohio Turnpike Commission (OTC) with a restrictive covenant burdening the Salmons Parcel prohibiting billboards visible from the adjacent OTC highway. Subsequently, the Salmons Parcel was conveyed without mention of the covenant, and eventually a billboard was erected. The court held, “(1) the Marketable Title Act [R.C. 5301.47 et. seq.] had no impact upon the OTC’s claim that the Salmons’ property was subject to the restrictive covenants; (2) the restrictive covenant was outside the chain of title of the servient estate, and (3) the owners and advertising agency could not be charged with constructive notice of the restrictive covenant because said burden was recorded outside of the purchaser’s chain of title.”

This decision is reported here with the question of whether and how it affects Ohio conservation and agricultural easements granted under Ohio R.C. 5301.67 et. seq. Readers are invited to comment.

Decision available at http://apps.co.lucas.oh.us/Courts/Appeals/DecisionsPDF/4558.pdf.

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