303.211 Limitations on powers - public utility or railroads, telecommunications towers, alcoholic beverage sales, oil or gas drilling.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in division (B) or (C) of this section, sections 303.01 to 303.25 of the Revised Code do not confer any power on any board of county commissioners or board of zoning appeals in respect to the location, erection, construction, reconstruction, change, alteration, maintenance, removal, use, or enlargement of any buildings or structures of any public utility or railroad, whether publicly or privately owned, or the use of land by any public utility or railroad for the operation of its business. As used in this division, "public utility" does not include a person that owns or operates a solid waste facility or a solid waste transfer facility, other than a publicly owned solid waste facility or a publicly owned solid waste transfer facility, that has been issued a permit under Chapter 3734. of the Revised Code or a construction and demolition debris facility that has been issued a permit under Chapter 3714. of the Revised Code.

(B)

(1) As used in this division, "telecommunications tower" means any free-standing structure, or any structure to be attached to a building or other structure, that meets all of the following criteria:

(a) The free-standing or attached structure is proposed to be constructed on or after October 31, 1996.

(b) The free-standing or attached structure is proposed to be owned or principally used by a public utility engaged in the provision of telecommunications services.

(c) The free-standing or attached structure is proposed to be located in an unincorporated area of a township, in an area zoned for residential use.

(d)

(i) The free-standing structure is proposed to top at a height that is greater than either the maximum allowable height of residential structures within the zoned area as set forth in the applicable zoning regulations, or the maximum allowable height of such a free-standing structure as set forth in any applicable zoning regulations in effect immediately prior to October 31, 1996, or as those regulations subsequently are amended.

(ii) The attached structure is proposed to top at a height that is greater than either the height of the building or other structure to which it is to be attached, or the maximum allowable height of such an attached structure as set forth in any applicable zoning regulations in effect immediately prior to October 31, 1996, or as those regulations subsequently are amended.

(e) The free-standing or attached structure is proposed to have attached to it radio frequency transmission or reception equipment.

(2) Sections 303.01 to 303.25 of the Revised Code confer power on a board of county commissioners or board of zoning appeals with respect to the location, erection, construction, reconstruction, change, alteration, removal, or enlargement of a telecommunications tower, but not with respect to the maintenance or use of such a tower or any change or alteration that would not substantially increase the tower's height. However, the power so conferred shall apply to a particular telecommunications tower only upon the provision of a notice, in accordance with division (B)(4)(a) of this section, to the person proposing to construct the tower.

(3) Any person who plans to construct a telecommunications tower in an area subject to county zoning regulations shall provide both of the following by certified mail:

(a) Written notice to the board of township trustees of the township in which the tower is proposed to be constructed and to each owner of property, as shown on the county auditor's current tax list, whose land is contiguous to or directly across a street or roadway from the property on which the tower is proposed to be constructed, stating all of the following in clear and concise language:

(i) The person's intent to construct the tower;

(ii) A description of the property sufficient to identify the proposed location;

(iii) That, no later than fifteen days after the date of mailing of the notice, such board of township trustees or any such property owner may give written notice to the board of county commissioners requesting that sections 303.01 to 303.25 of the Revised Code apply to the proposed location of the tower as provided under division (B)(4)(a) of this section.

If the notice to the board of township trustees or to a property owner is returned unclaimed or refused, the person shall mail the notice by regular mail. The failure of delivery of the notice does not invalidate the notice.

(b) Written notice to the board of county commissioners of the information specified in divisions (B)(3)(a)(i) and (ii) of this section. The notice to the board also shall include verification that the person has complied with division (B)(3)(a) of this section.

(4)

(a) If the board of county commissioners receives notice from the board of township trustees or a property owner under division (B)(3)(a)(iii) of this section within the time specified in that division or if a member of the board of county commissioners makes an objection to the proposed location of the telecommunications tower within fifteen days after the date of mailing of the notice sent under division (B)(3)(b) of this section, the board of county commissioners shall send the person proposing to construct the tower written notice that the tower is subject to the power conferred by and in accordance with division (B)(2) of this section. The notice shall be sent no later than five days after the earlier of the date the board first receives such a notice from the board of township trustees or a property owner or the date upon which a member of the board of county commissioners makes an objection. Upon the date of mailing of the notice to the person, sections 303.01 to 303.25 of the Revised Code shall apply to the tower.

(b) If the board of county commissioners receives no notice under division (B)(3)(a)(iii) of this section within the time prescribed by that division or no board member has an objection as provided under division (B)(4)(a) of this section within the time prescribed by that division, division (A) of this section shall apply to the tower without exception.

(C) Sections 303.01 to 303.25 of the Revised Code confer power on a board of county commissioners or board of zoning appeals with respect to the location, erection, construction, reconstruction, change, alteration, maintenance, removal, use, or enlargement of any buildings or structures of a public utility engaged in the business of transporting persons or property, or both, or providing or furnishing such transportation service, over any public street, road, or highway in this state, and with respect to the use of land by any such public utility for the operation of its business, to the extent that any exercise of such power is reasonable and not inconsistent with Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4909., 4921., and 4923. of the Revised Code. However, this division confers no power on a board of county commissioners or board of zoning appeals with respect to a building or structure of, or the use of land by, a person engaged in the transportation of farm supplies to the farm or farm products from farm to market or to food fabricating plants.

(D) Sections 303.01 to 303.25 of the Revised Code confer no power on any county rural zoning commission, board of county commissioners, or board of zoning appeals to prohibit the sale or use of alcoholic beverages in areas where the establishment and operation of any retail business, hotel, lunchroom, or restaurant is permitted.

(E)

(1) Any person who plans to construct a telecommunications tower within one hundred feet of a residential dwelling shall provide a written notice to the owner of the residential dwelling and to the person occupying the residence, if that person is not the owner of the residence, stating in clear and concise language the person's intent to construct the tower and a description of the property sufficient to identify the proposed location. The notice shall be sent by certified mail. If the notice is returned unclaimed or refused, the person shall mail the notice by regular mail. The failure of delivery does not invalidate the notice.

(2) As used in division (E) of this section:

(a) "Residential dwelling" means a building used or intended to be used as a personal residence by the owner, part-time owner, or lessee of the building, or any person authorized by such a person to use the building as a personal residence.

(b) "Telecommunications tower" has the same meaning as in division (B)(1) of this section, except that the proposed location of the free-standing or attached structure may be an area other than an unincorporated area of a township, in an area zoned for residential use.

Effective Date: 09-30-1998; 09-16-2004; 2008 HB562 09-22-2008