(A) As used in this section, "road" means a road, or portion of a road, which is not used to calculate distributions of the auto registration distribution fund under division (E) of section 4501.04 of the Revised Code and, thus, is not a road or portion of a road certified by the board of township trustees to the director of transportation in accordance with that division as mileage in the township used by and maintained for the public.
(B) A board of township trustees may petition the board of county commissioners to vacate a township road or a portion of a township road by passing a resolution that requests the vacation of the road or portion and includes a description of the general route and termini of the road or portion. The township clerk shall file a copy of the resolution with the board of county commissioners and certify another copy to the county engineer. Within thirty days after receipt of that copy of the resolution, the engineer shall issue to the board of county commissioners a written report similar in content to reports required under section 5553.06 of the Revised Code. The failure of the engineer to provide this report does not affect the actions required under this section and does not invalidate the vacation of a road or portion of a road under this section.
(C) Upon receipt of the copy of the township's resolution, the board of county commissioners shall set a date for a public hearing on the vacation of the road or portion of the road that is not more than forty-five days after the date that the resolution is filed with the board. The clerk of the board shall notify by regular mail the landowners abutting the road or portion of the road proposed to be vacated. That notice shall be sent at least twenty days before the board's public hearing, shall state that the board of township trustees has filed a resolution requesting the vacation of the specified road or portion of the road under this section, and shall inform the landowners of the time and place of the public hearing on this issue. The notice shall be mailed to the addresses of the abutting landowners as they appear on the county auditor's current tax list or the county treasurer's mailing list. Failure of the delivery of this notice to any abutting landowner does not invalidate the vacation of a road or a portion of a road under this section.
(D) After the public hearing, if the board of county commissioners determines that the vacation of the road or portion of the road would be for the public convenience or welfare, it shall adopt a resolution by a majority vote declaring the road or portion to be vacated and file a certified copy of the resolution with the petitioner board of township trustees, the county recorder, and the county engineer.
If the board of county commissioners fails to vote on the issue of vacating the road or portion of the board within sixty days after the township's resolution is filed with it, the road or portion of the road specified in the resolution shall be deemed to be vacated, and the petitioner board of township trustees shall adopt another resolution describing the road or portion of the road that has been vacated and explaining this vacation is by action of this section. The board of township trustees shall file a certified copy of that resolution with the board of county commissioners, the county recorder, and the county engineer.
(E) Once the certified copies of the resolution declaring a road or portion of a road vacated are filed as provided in division (D) of this section, the board of township trustees, by resolution, shall order the road or portion of the road vacated. The vacated road or portion of the road shall pass, in fee, to the abutting landowners subject to all of the following:
(1) A permanent easement as provided in section 5553.043 of the Revised Code in, over, or under the road for the service facilities, as defined in section 5553.042 of the Revised Code, of a public utility or electric cooperative as defined in section 4928.01 of the Revised Code;
(2) The right of ingress or egress to service and maintain those service facilities;
(3) The right to trim or remove any trees, shrubs, brush, or other obstacles growing in or encroaching onto the permanent easement that may affect the operation, use, or access to those service facilities.
Effective Date: 06-10-2004