4939.03 Prohibited conduct concerning public ways.

(A) No person shall occupy or use a public way except in accordance with law.

(B) In occupying or using a public way, no person shall unreasonably compromise the public health, safety, and welfare.


(1) No person shall occupy or use a public way without first obtaining, under this section or section 1332.24 or 4939.031 of the Revised Code, any requisite consent of the municipal corporation owning or controlling the public way.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in division (C)(5) of this section and sections 4939.031 and 4939.035 of the Revised Code, a municipal corporation, not later than sixty days after the date of filing by a person of a completed request for consent, shall grant or deny its consent.

(3) A municipal corporation shall not unreasonably withhold or deny consent.

(4) If a request by a person for consent is denied, the municipal corporation shall provide to the person in writing its reasons for denying the request and such information as the person may reasonably request to obtain consent. If a request for consent is denied for an activity described in section 4939.031 of the Revised Code, the reasons required under this division shall be supported by substantial, competent evidence and the denial of consent shall not unreasonably discriminate against the entity requesting the consent.

(5) Except in the case of a public utility subject to the jurisdiction and recognized on the rolls of the public utilities commission or of a cable operator possessing a valid franchise awarded pursuant to the "Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984," 98 Stat. 2779, 47 U.S.C.A. 541, a municipal corporation, for good cause shown, may withhold, deny, or delay its consent to any person based upon the person's failure to possess the financial, technical, and managerial resources necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

(6) Initial consent for occupancy or use of a public way shall be conclusively presumed for all lines, poles, pipes, conduits, ducts, equipment, or other appurtenances, structures, or facilities of a public utility or cable operator that, on July 2, 2002, lawfully so occupy or use a public way. However, such presumed consent does not relieve the public utility or cable operator of compliance with any law related to the ongoing occupancy or use of a public way.

Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 331, §1, eff. 3/21/2017.

Effective Date: 07-02-2002.