The OLG brief presented two important issues:
1. Based on the Appeal Court and Supreme Court decision, the description of the boundary should be changed to read: â€œThe natural shoreline is a moving boundary located at the line where the water would be on any given day, between the ordinary high and low water marks, except for natural disturbances such as storm surges, wind tides, seiches and harbor resonance.Â The natural shoreline is not an â€œordinaryâ€ water line or a fixed line of elevation.Â The line moves throughout the year based on seasonal variations in lake levels.Â The line also moves based on long term changes to the land caused by erosion and accretion and long term changes to water levels caused by submergence and reliction.Â In other words, the natural shoreline is the line between what is usually non-submerged land and what is usually submerged land on any given day.â€
2. A statement regarding property boundaries should read: Â â€œProperty descriptions in deeds of littoral owners are presumptively valid, including without limitation metes and bounds descriptions.Â The presumption that deeds are valid is only the first step in determining the location of the natural shoreline for a particular property, which must also include a presumption that any shore recession was caused by avulsion.Â When land abutting Lake Erie is stripped away by avulsion, the natural shoreline remains fixed at its last location prior to the avulsion and the littoral owner may reclaim all land so lost between the waterâ€™s edge and the natural shoreline.Â Thus, the presence of fill also is not determinative of the natural shoreline because fill placed landward of the natural shoreline is privately owned and does not affect the natural shoreline.Â As a result, ODNRâ€™s use of aerial photographs to determine the natural shoreline at a given point in time lacks any sound basis because it fails to account for avulsive losses.â€
The Statement can be reviewed by clicking OLG Statement to Court
The State and NWF filed joint briefs consisting basically of two issues:
1.Â Seek a judgment declaring thatÂ each of the named Plaintiffs in this action and in Taft, who are now Intervening Plaintiffs in thisÂ case, arc required to obtain authorization from the State pursuant to Ohio law – R.C. 1506.11 andÂ the administrative regulations promulgated thereunder – for any improvement:i or developmentsÂ of Plaintiffs that extend beyond “the natural shoreline” of Lake Erie. (This is changing from the OHWM.)
2. Â OLG claims for “fees”Â will be disputed by the StateÂ Defendants, and discovery and evidentiary hearing will be required for determination andÂ resolution of those claims and issues.
The Statement can be reviewed by clickingState and NWF Statement to Court
A Separate Statement by the NWF and OEC basically said that all issues were resolved by the Supreme Court and that no issues remain, except that of the request for Fees by OLG.
The Statement can be reviewed by clickingÂ NWF OEC Statement to Court
Intervening Plaintiff, Homer S. Taft statement included the following requests to the Court:
1. ODNR should be enjoined from claiming ownership or control of any land along Lake Erie that is within the legal deed of the private owner, unless it is able to be proved by ODNR that the deed is faulty.
2. ODNR should void all leases that are below the OHWM and within the deed of the private property owner, that have clouded the deed of the property.
3. ODNR should be enjoined to respect all littoral rights of private property owners.
The Statement can be reviewed by clicking Intervening Plaintiffs Taft Statement