Final determinations represent a positive outcome for property owners, taxpayers and ODNR

MARCH 12, 2019, BUCKEYE LAKE, OH – The Buckeye Lake Region Corporation (BLRC) is pleased to announce that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft has reached a positive determination regarding encroachments and licensure of property adjacent to the Buckeye Lake State Park Dam. Notices delivered to property owners are the result of months of communication, negotiation and consideration between Connie J. Klema, Attorney at Law and ODNR legal counsel.

“The BLRC retained the services of Ms. Klema in February of 2018 when several property owners first received a Notice of Encroachment from ODNR,” said Mike Fornataro, Executive Director, Buckeye Lake Region Corporation. “Since that time, Ms. Klema has been instrumental in reaching a resolution that is an excellent outcome for all parties – including residents, taxpayers and ODNR.

In addition to retaining Ms. Klema’s legal services, BLRC Board Members Tim Ryan and Karen Cookston coordinated efforts to engage home and property owners impacted by ODNR’s Notice of Encroachment and spearheaded the creation of a legal fund to secure monetary support, which was used to defer the costs of legal fees. These donations from home and property owners, as well as from the Buckeye Lake Region Community Foundation, were necessary to ensure that this critical work was completed.

The BLRC also worked closely with State legislators, including State Representative Tim Schaffer, regarding alternative options for homeowners and a more amenable resolution that will not impact the timeline of the overall project.

Licensure and Encroachment Notices Represent a Positive Outcome

Notices provided to property owners earlier this week (from ODNR) state that property owners may have continued rights to use State-owned property between the owners’ property line and the new State-owned sidewalk under a license agreement with each owner. Additionally, ODNR will permit owners with structural house-fixed encroachments on the dam with a lease option that will permit owners to keep such encroachments on the State property with certain requirements.

These notices provide property owners with reasonable options to retain meaningful use of their property, and in some cases, avoid removal of significant portions of their property or homes. In addition to benefiting property owners, ODNR’s decisions support the State’s goal to maintain the safety and integrity of the Buckeye Lake Dam.

Ms. Klema also distributed a letter summarizing these notices to property owners; a copy of this letter is linked below.

Continued Efforts Support the Transformation of the Buckeye Lake Region

The BLRC is continuously working to coordinate, manage and executive initiatives that support the Buckeye Lake 2036 Community Vision. This includes coordinating donations and monetary support for critical issues that require legal assistance. Funding for these initiatives are provided by the Buckeye Lake Region Community Foundation. To learn more about the Foundation please visit Note that donations can be directed toward the established legal fund.