Chapter 5547: COUNTY HIGHWAYS - USE; OBSTRUCTION

5547.01 Undermining or crossing public roads.

Any person, partnership, or corporation owning land or an interest therein in fee or otherwise, containing coal, clay, or stone, and over any portion of which passes a state, county, or township road or public highway, with the consent of the board of county commissioners if state or county roads, or with the consent of the board of township trustees if township roads, may excavate, mine, and quarry through or under such road.

Before the work is commenced such person, partnership, or corporation shall execute and deliver to the board of county commissioners a bond, with good and sufficient surety, in amount sufficient to cover all damages that may accrue to be approved by the board of county commissioners, conditioned, that while crossing over, mining, or quarrying under such road, a safe and unobstructed passageway shall be kept open by the individual, partnership, or corporation for public use, and as soon as practicable such road shall be fully restored to its original safe and passable condition.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5547.02 Owner of land may lay pipe line for water within line of road.

A person owning land abutting a public road, not within a municipal corporation, when approved by the director of transportation if upon a state highway, board of county commissioners if upon a county road, or the board of township trustees if upon a township road, may lay a pipe line, within the line of the road, for the purpose of conveying water for public and other purposes. The laying of such pipe line shall in no way interfere with public travel or damage such road, and shall be done upon such conditions as the director, board of county commissioners, or board of township trustees prescribes.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5547.03 Removal of structures constituting obstructions or interference.

All persons, partnerships, and corporations using or occupying any part of a highway, bridge, or culvert with telegraph or telephone lines, steam, electrical, or industrial railways, oil, gas, water, or other pipes, mains, conduits, or any object or structure, other than by virtue of a franchise legally granted, shall remove from the bounds of such highway, bridge, or culvert, their poles and wires connected therewith, or any and all tracks, switches, spurs, or oil, gas, or water pipes, mains, conduits, or other objects or structures when, in the opinion of the board of county commissioners, they constitute obstructions in any highway, other than the state highway system; or the bridges or culverts thereon, or interfere or may interfere with the proposed improvement of such highways, bridges, or culverts or the use thereof by the traveling public. By obtaining the consent and approval of the board, such persons, partnerships, and corporations may relocate their properties within the bounds of such highways, bridges, or culverts in such manner as the board prescribes. The giving of such consent and approval by the board does not grant any franchise rights.

Persons, partnerships, or corporations occupying any part of a highway, bridge, or culvert, under and by virtue of a franchise legally granted, shall relocate their properties within the bounds of such highway, bridges, or culverts when in the opinion of the county engineer, they constitute obstructions or interfere with the construction, improvement, maintenance, or repair of such highways, bridges, or culverts, or the use thereof by the traveling public.

If, in the opinion of the engineer, such persons, partnerships, or companies [corporations] have obstructed any such highway, bridges, or culverts, or if any of their properties are, in his opinion, so located that they do or may interfere with the proposed improvement, maintenance, or repair the board shall notify such person, partnership, or corporation directing the removal or relocation of the obstruction or property, and, if they do not within five days proceed to so remove or relocate and complete the removal or relocation within a reasonable time, the board may do so by employing the necessary labor. The expense incurred shall be paid in the first instance out of any moneys available for highway purposes, and not encumbered for any other purpose, and the amount shall be certified to the proper officials to be placed on the tax duplicate against the property of such person, partnership, or corporation, to be collected as other taxes and in one payment, and the proper fund shall be reimbursed out of the money so collected, or the account thereof may be collected from such person, partnership, or corporation by civil action by the state on the relation of the board.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5547.04 Removal of obstructions by landowners - consent and approval - signs and advertising.

The owner or occupant of lands situated along the highways shall remove all obstructions within the bounds of the highways, which have been placed there by them or their agents, or with their consent.

By first obtaining the consent and approval of the board of county commissioners, obstructions erected prior to July 16, 1925 in highways other than roads and highways on the state highway system or bridges or culverts thereon, may be permitted to remain, upon such conditions as the officials may impose, provided such obstructions do not interfere with traffic or with the construction or repair of such highways.

No person, partnership, or corporation shall erect, within the bounds of any highway or on the bridges or culverts thereon, any obstruction without first obtaining the approval of the board in case of highways other than roads and highways on the state highway system and the bridges and culverts thereon.

All advertising or other signs and posters erected, displayed, or maintained on, along, or near any public highway, and in such a location as to obstruct, at curves or intersecting roads, the view of drivers using such highway, are obstructions, but this section has no application to crossing signs erected in compliance with section 4955.33 of the Revised Code, at the crossings of highways and railroads.

The board shall enforce this section and, in so doing, may avail itself of section 5547.03 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

5547.05 Conveyance of county owned lands.

The board of county commissioners of any county may convey the fee simple estate or any lesser estate or interest in, or permit the use of, for such period as it shall determine, any lands owned by such county and acquired or used for highways, bridges, or culverts, or owned by such county in connection with highways or as incidental to the acquisition of land for highways, provided that said board shall determine and enter its determination on its journal, that the property or interest so to be conveyed or made subject to a permit to use, is not needed by the county for highway purposes. Such conveyance or permit to use may be to the grantee or permittee and his or its successors and assigns and shall be of such portion of such lands as said board shall determine, which shall be described in the deed or other instrument of conveyance and in any permit to use, and may include or be limited to, areas or space on, above, or below the surface, and may include the grant of easements or other interests in any such lands not so conveyed or made subject to a permit to use, for use by the grantee for buildings or structures or other uses and purposes, and for the support of buildings or structures constructed or to be constructed in or on the lands, areas, or space conveyed or made subject to a permit to use.

Whenever pursuant to this section separate units of property are created in any lands, each unit shall for all purposes constitute real property and shall be deemed real estate within the meaning of all provisions of the Revised Code and shall be deemed to be a separate parcel for all purposes of taxation and assessment of real property and no other unit or other part of such lands shall be charged with the payment of such taxes and assessments.

With respect to any portion of any highway in any county, or bridges or culverts thereon, which is not owned in fee simple by the county, the board of county commissioners of such county may grant the right to use any portion thereof in perpetuity or for such period of time as it shall specify, including areas or space on, above, or beneath the surface, together with rights for the support of buildings or structures constructed or to be constructed thereon or therein, provided that it shall determine and enter its determination on its journal, that the property made subject to a permit to use is not needed by the county for highway purposes.

The board of county commissioners shall require as either a condition precedent or a condition subsequent to any conveyance, grant, or permit to use, that the plans and specifications for all such buildings or structures and the contemplated use thereof, be approved by it as not interfering with the county's use for its purposes of any such property, and not unduly endangering the public, and may require such indemnity agreements in favor of the board of county commissioners and the public as shall be lawful and as shall be deemed necessary by it. Such board shall not unreasonably withhold approval of such plans, specifications, and contemplated use.

All such conveyances or grants or permits to use shall be made with competitive bidding as required by section 307.10 of the Revised Code, except that competitive bidding shall not be required if such conveyance, grant, or permit to use is to be made to the United States of America or this state, or any political subdivision, taxing district, department, commission, board, institution, authority, or other agency of either.

In any case where any county has acquired or acquires easements or permits to use areas or space on, above, or below the surface for any purpose, the board of county commissioners of such county may extinguish them in whole or in part or subordinate them to uses by others, provided that it shall determine and enter its determination on its journal, that the easements so extinguished or subordinated are not needed for county purposes.

No conveyance, easement, lease, permit, or other instrument executed pursuant to the authorization given by this section shall prejudice any right, title, or interest in any lands affected thereby which at the date thereof existed in any person, firm, or corporation, other than the county and other than members of the general public having no specific rights in said lands, unless such right, title, or interest was expressly subject to the right of the county to make such conveyance, grant such right, or execute such instrument and unless the county by such instrument expressly exercises such right, nor shall any public utility be required to move or relocate any of its facilities that may be located in or on the areas described in any such conveyance, easement, lease, permit, or other instrument.

Effective Date: 11-09-1965