Proceedings for the establishment of a conservancy district shall be initiated only by the filing of a petition in the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas of one of the counties containing territory within the proposed district, which petition shall be signed either by five hundred residents, or by a majority of the residents, or by the owners of more than half of the property, in either acreage or value, within the limits of the territory proposed to be organized into a district. The petition may be signed by the governing body of any public corporation or watershed district created under section 6105.02 of the Revised Code lying wholly or partly within the proposed district, in such manner as it prescribes, and when so signed by any such governing body such a petition on the part of the governing body shall fill all the requirements of representation upon the petition of the residents of the public corporation or watershed district, as they appear upon the tax duplicate; and thereafter it is not necessary for individuals within the public corporation or watershed district to sign such a petition. Such a petition also may be signed by railroads and other corporations owning lands.
Such a petition may be filed by any city interested in some degree in the improvement, upon proper action by its governing body.
The petition shall set forth the proposed name of the district, the necessity for the proposed work and that it will be conducive to the public health, safety, convenience, or welfare, and a general description of the purpose of the contemplated improvement, and of the territory to be included in the proposed district. The description need not be given by metes and bounds or by legal subdivisions, but it is sufficient if a generally accurate description is given of the territory to be organized as a district. The territory need not be contiguous, provided it is so situated that the public health, safety, convenience, or welfare will be promoted by the organization as a single district of the territory described. Except in the case of a subdistrict organized pursuant to section 6101.71 of the Revised Code, the territory shall not be included wholly within the limits of a single municipal corporation.
The petition shall pray for the organization of the district by the name proposed.
Upon the filing of the petition a judge of the court of common pleas of the county in which the petition was filed shall determine whether it bears the necessary signatures and complies with the requirements of this section as to form and content. No petition with the requisite signatures shall be declared void because of alleged defects, but the judge, or the court in subsequent proceedings, may at any time permit the petition to be amended in form and substance to conform to the facts by correcting any errors in the description of the territory, or in any other particular. Several similar petitions or duplicate copies of the same petition for the organization of the same district may be filed and shall together be regarded as one petition. All such petitions filed prior to the determination of the sufficiency of the petition shall be considered as though they had been filed with the first petition placed on file.
In determining when a majority of landowners has signed the petition, the names as they appear upon the tax duplicate govern and are prima-facie evidence of such ownership.
Effective Date: 07-19-1994