Chapter 707: INCORPORATION

707.01 Incorporation of villages.

Villages may be incorporated in the manner provided in sections 707.01 to 707.28 of the Revised Code. Application for incorporation of a village shall be made by petition addressed to the board of county commissioners.

No territory within the boundaries of a military base, camp, or similar installation under the jurisdiction of a military department of the United States government, that is used for the housing of members of the armed forces of the United States and is a center for military operations of the department, shall be incorporated without the approval of the secretary of defense of the United States, his designee, or other person having authority under federal law to give such approval.

Cite as R.C. § 707.01

Effective Date: 03-02-1992

707.02 Petition for incorporation as village.

The petition required by section 707.01 of the Revised Code shall be signed by fifty-one per cent of the electors within the territory proposed to be incorporated, as determined by the total number of votes cast within that territory for the office of governor at the preceding general election for that office, and shall contain or have attached thereto:

(A) A full description and an accurate map of the territory within the proposed municipal corporation;

(B) A statement signed by the county auditor as to the total assessed valuation of the area proposed for incorporation;

(C) A statement that the area consists of not less than two square miles, includes a population of not less than eight hundred persons per square mile, and has an assessed valuation of real, personal, and public utility property subject, except as otherwise provided in this division, to general property taxation of at least three thousand five hundred dollars per capita. In determining per capita assessed valuation under this division, the assessed valuation of any tangible personal property, buildings, structures, improvements, and fixtures that are exempt from taxation under division (B) of section 5709.081 of the Revised Code shall be added to the assessed valuation of real, personal, and public utility property subject to general property taxation.

(D) A statement by the secretary of state that the name proposed in the petition is not being used by any other municipal corporation in the state;

(E) The name of a person to act as agent for the petitioners;

(F) A statement of whether or not the proposed municipal corporation contains and includes territory within three miles of any portion of the boundary of an existing municipal corporation.

Cite as R.C. § 707.02

Effective Date: 03-02-1992

707.03 Petition presented to county commissioners.

The petition required by section 707.02 of the Revised Code may be presented to the board of county commissioners at any session of the board, after which the board shall make it available for inspection of any interested person.

Upon presentation of such a petition, the board of county commissioners may charge a fee to the agent of the petitioners, to cover the cost of verifying the signatures on the petition.

Cite as R.C. § 707.03

Effective Date: 03-02-1992

707.04 Existing municipal corporation to approve incorporation of territory within three miles of its boundaries.

Prior to fixing the time and place of the public hearing pursuant to section 707.05 of the Revised Code, the board of county commissioners shall determine whether any of the area proposed to be incorporated includes territory within three miles of any portion of the boundary of an existing municipal corporation. If the board so finds, it shall make an order in its journal of such finding and forward a copy of such entry to the clerk of the legislative authority of such municipal corporation. The board shall thereafter take no action on the incorporation petition so long as any of the area proposed to be incorporated includes territory within three miles of the boundary limits of any existing municipal corporation. However, the board may proceed with the incorporation petition even though some or all of the territory proposed to be incorporated would be within the three-mile area if either of the following applies:

(A) An annexation proceeding which included the territory within three miles of an existing municipal corporation has been attempted within two years preceding the date of filing of the incorporation petition under section 709.02 of the Revised Code but failed because the existing municipal corporation took unfavorable action, or because the existing municipal corporation took no action on the petition for a period of one hundred twenty days after the petition was presented to the legislative authority of the municipal corporation as required in section 709.04 of the Revised Code;

(B) There is furnished to the board of county commissioners a copy of a resolution, passed by the legislative authority of each existing municipal corporation within the three-mile area approving the petition for incorporation.

Cite as R.C. § 707.04

Effective Date: 04-16-1993

707.05 Fixing time and place for hearing petition - notice.

The board shall fix, and communicate to the agent of the petitioners, the time and place for hearing the petition, which time shall be not less than forty nor more than ninety days after the petition is presented to the board pursuant to section 707.03 of the Revised Code. Thereupon the agent for the petitioners shall cause a notice containing the substance of the petition, and the time and place where it will be heard, to be published in a newspaper published in, and of general circulation in the county, for a period of three consecutive weeks.

Cite as R.C. § 707.05

Effective Date: 10-07-1977

707.06 Hearing - amendments.

The hearing provided for in section 707.05 of the Revised Code shall be public. Any person interested may appear, in person or by attorney, and contest the granting of the prayer of the petition provided for by section 707.02 of the Revised Code, and affidavits presented in support of or against the prayer of such petition shall be considered by the board. The board of county commissioners may amend the petition on its leave. If any amendment is permitted, whereby territory not before embraced is added, the board shall appoint another time for the hearing, of which notice shall be given as specified in section 707.05 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 707.06

Effective Date: 03-02-1992

707.07 Order of incorporation.

After the hearing on a petition to incorporate, the board of county commissioners shall enter an order on its journal allowing the incorporation if it finds that:

(A) The petition contains all the matters required in section 707.02 of the Revised Code and the statements in the petition are true.

(B) Notice has been published as is required by section 707.05 of the Revised Code.

(C) The number of valid signatures on the petition constituted fifty-one per cent of the electors within the territory proposed to be incorporated, as determined by the total number of votes cast within that territory for the office of governor at the preceding general election for that office.

(D) The territory included in the proposed municipal corporation is compact and is not unreasonably large; municipal services, such as police and fire protection, street construction and maintenance, sanitary and storm sewers, planning, zoning, and subdivision control, and parks and recreational facilities are capable of being financed by the proposed municipal corporation with a reasonable local tax, using the current assessed valuation of properties as a basis of calculation; and the general good of the community, including both the proposed municipal corporation and the surrounding area, will be served if the incorporation petition is granted.

Cite as R.C. § 707.07

Effective Date: 03-02-1992

707.08 Recording of journal entry.

If the board of county commissioners grants the petition for incorporation as a village or if the board of elections certifies to the board of county commissioners the results of a favorable election for incorporation as a city pursuant to section 707.30 of the Revised Code, the board of county commissioners shall enter on its journal all the orders and proceedings of the board relating to the incorporation and deliver a certified transcript of all orders of the board, signed by a majority of the members of the board, the petition, map, and all other papers on file relating to the incorporation proceedings to the county recorder at the earliest time practicable.

Cite as R.C. § 707.08

Effective Date: 03-02-1992

707.09 Record.

The county recorder shall file the transcript or other papers provided by section 707.08 of the Revised Code in the county recorder's office, and at the expiration of sixty days thereafter, unless enjoined as provided in section 707.11 of the Revised Code, the county recorder shall make a record of the petition, transcript, if any, and map in the official records. The county recorder shall also file a copy of the record with the secretary of state. The county recorder shall preserve in the county recorder's office the original papers or copies of the original papers delivered to the county recorder by the board of county commissioners.

The incorporation shall be effective as of the date that the record is filed with the secretary of state.

Cite as R.C. § 707.09

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 41, HB 72, §1, eff. 1/30/2014.

Effective Date: 03-02-1992

707.10 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 707.10

Effective Date: 12-01-1967

707.11 Injunction against recorder.

Within sixty days from the filing of the papers relating to the incorporation of a village by the board of county commissioners with the county recorder as provided by sections 707.08 and 707.09 of the Revised Code, any person interested may make application by petition to the court of common pleas setting forth the errors complained of or claiming the decision of the board is unreasonable or unlawful, and praying an injunction restraining the recorder from making the record and filing a copy of the record with the secretary of state pursuant to section 707.09 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 707.11

Effective Date: 03-02-1992

707.12 Procedure in injunction cases.

When a petition is filed under section 707.11 of the Revised Code, the person filing it shall give notice by delivering a copy of the petition to the county recorder and the agent of the petitioners for the municipal corporation. On receiving such notice, the recorder shall transmit to the clerk of the court of common pleas all the papers relating to the matter of incorporation on file in the recorder's office, and in that event, no record of the papers shall be made by the recorder as provided in section 707.09 of the Revised Code until he receives a certificate from such clerk showing that the injunction has been denied.

Cite as R.C. § 707.12

Effective Date: 12-01-1967

707.13 Filing, docketing, and hearing of petition.

The court of common pleas shall hear the petition not less than twenty days from the filing thereof and at such hearing the court may hear evidence upon the matters averred in the petition. If the court finds no error in the proceedings before the board of county commissioners and that the board's decision was reasonable and lawful, the petition for such injunction shall be dismissed. Thereupon the clerk shall return such papers to the county recorder, with a certified transcript of the order of the court, and the recorder shall immediately make a record and file a copy of the record with the secretary of state as provided in section 707.09 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 707.13

Effective Date: 12-01-1967

707.14 Proceedings if error is found.

If the court finds error in the proceedings before the board of county commissioners or that the board's decision was unreasonable or unlawful, the court shall make an order enjoining the county recorder from making the record and filing a copy of the record with the secretary of state as is provided in section 707.09 of the Revised Code. Such order shall not be a bar to subsequent applications to the board for the purpose of effecting incorporation. The court shall render such judgment as to the payment of the cost incurred in such proceeding for injunction as is just and equitable.

Cite as R.C. § 707.14

Effective Date: 12-01-1967

707.15 to 707.20 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 707.15 to 707.20

Effective Date: 12-01-1967

707.21 Election of officers - special election.

The first election of officers for a municipal corporation organized under Chapter 707 . of the Revised Code shall be held at the time of the next regular municipal election if one occurs not less than one hundred five nor more than one hundred eighty days after the creation of the municipal corporation. Otherwise a special election shall be held. Such special election may be held on the day of a primary or general election or on a date set by the board of elections. Nominations of candidates for election to municipal office at a special election shall be made by nominating petition and shall be signed by not less than twenty-five qualified electors nor more than fifty qualified electors of the township or of the portion thereof which has been incorporated into such municipal corporation, and be filed with the board of elections not less than ninety days before the day of the election.

Municipal officers elected at such special election shall hold office until the first day of January next after the first regular municipal election occurring not less than one hundred five days after the creation of such municipal corporation.

Cite as R.C. § 707.21

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.29, HB 48, §1, eff. 7/2/2010.

Effective Date: 03-02-1992

707.22 Territory embracing parts of more than one county.

When electors residing in two or more counties desire the organization of such territory into a municipal corporation, the petition shall be made to the board of county commissioners of the county in which the largest number of qualified voters of the proposed municipal corporation reside, and a statement to that effect shall be set forth in the petition. The transcript of the proceedings of the board, if required, and the other papers relating to the incorporation shall be recorded in the county in which the petition is filed in the manner provided by section 707.09 of the Revised Code. Within ten days after such recording the county recorder shall make a certified transcript of such record for each of the other counties in which any portion of the territory is situated, and shall forward such transcript to the recorders of such counties, who shall record them in the manner required for original papers.

In all other respects, the proceedings to establish such municipal corporation, or review the action of the board, shall be as provided in sections 707.01 to 707.14 of the Revised Code for villages and sections 707.29 and 707.30 of the Revised Code for cities.

Cite as R.C. § 707.22

Effective Date: 03-02-1992

707.23 Jurisdiction of officers.

When the jurisdiction of municipal officers is coextensive with the county in which the municipal corporation is situated, their jurisdiction in a municipal corporation embracing territory of more than one county shall be coextensive with each of the counties in which any part of such territory is located.

Cite as R.C. § 707.23

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

707.24 Fees.

Each municipal officer shall receive for the services required of him under sections 707.01 to 707.28 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, the same fees he would be entitled to for similar services in other cases. Unless such fees are paid in advance for services under sections 707.01 to 707.28 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, by the agent of the petitioners, of whom demand may be made, such officer need not perform the service.

Cite as R.C. § 707.24

Effective Date: 12-01-1967

707.25 Proceedings to change name.

When it is desirable to change the name of a municipal corporation a petition for the purpose, subscribed by at least twelve freeholders of the municipal corporation, setting forth the reasons such change is desirable, shall be filed in the court of common pleas of the county in which such municipal corporation, or the larger part thereof, is situated. A notice, setting forth the object of the petitioners, and the time when and place where such petition will be heard, shall be published for thirty days previous to the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipal corporation.

Cite as R.C. § 707.25

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

707.26 Power of court - saving rights.

The court of common pleas may order a change in the name of a municipal corporation as provided by section 707.25 of the Revised Code, upon being satisfied, by proof, of the following:

(A) The prayer of the petitioners is just and reasonable.

(B) Notice, as required by such section, has been given.

(C) At least three-fourths of the inhabitants of such municipal corporation desire the change.

(D) There is no other municipal corporation in the state having the name prayed for.

The clerk of the court of common pleas shall thereupon tax the petitioners with the costs, and record the proceedings in a book to be kept by him for that purpose. Such change shall not alter or affect any right, liability, action, or right of action, civil or criminal.

Cite as R.C. § 707.26

Effective Date: 12-01-1967

707.27 Effect of error.

No error, irregularity, or defect in any proceeding for the creation of a municipal corporation shall render it invalid if the territory sought to be incorporated has been recognized as such municipal corporation, and if any tax levied upon it as such has been paid, or if it has been subjected to the authority of the municipal legislative authority without objection from its inhabitants.

Cite as R.C. § 707.27

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

707.28 Division of property and funds when village or city is incorporated from township.

When a village or a city is incorporated from a portion of a township, or portions of more than one township, a proper division of the real and personal property of the townships, and of the funds for township purposes which are in the treasury, or in the process of collection, of the townships from which the territory is taken, shall, upon application of the village or city treasurer to the probate court of the county in which the territory is situated, be determined and ordered transferred to the village or city, in the case of real or personal property, or, in the case of funds, paid to the village or city treasurer.

In determining the portion of the real and personal property and funds to which the village or city is entitled, the indebtedness of each township shall be taken into consideration. Ten days' notice of a hearing shall be given by the treasurer of the applicant to the township fiscal officer of each township whose property and funds are sought to be divided. The findings and orders of the probate court under this section shall be final.

Cite as R.C. § 707.28

Effective Date: 10-30-1979; 12-20-2005

707.29 Incorporation of city.

(A) Cities may be incorporated in the manner provided in sections 707.29 and 707.30 of the Revised Code. Application for incorporation of a city shall be made by petition addressed to the board of county commissioners. The territory proposed for incorporation as a city shall meet all of the following criteria:

(1) It shall consist of not less than four square miles.

(2) It shall have a population of not less than twenty-five thousand and a population density of at least one thousand persons per square mile.

(3) It shall have an assessed valuation of real, personal, and public utility property subject, except as otherwise provided in division (A)(3) of this section, to general property taxation of at least twenty-five hundred dollars per capita. In determining per capita assessed valuation under division (A)(3) of this section, the assessed valuation of any tangible personal property, buildings, structures, improvements, and fixtures that are exempt from taxation under division (B) of section 5709.081 of the Revised Code shall be added to the assessed valuation of real, personal, and public utility property subject to general property taxation.

(4) It shall not completely surround an existing municipal corporation.

(5) It shall be contiguous.

(B) No territory within the boundaries of a military base, camp, or similar installation under the jurisdiction of a military department of the United States government, that is used for the housing of members of the armed forces of the United States and is a center for military operations of the department shall be incorporated without the approval of the secretary of defense of the United States, his designee, or other person having authority under federal law to give such approval.

Cite as R.C. § 707.29

Effective Date: 03-02-1992

707.30 Requirements for petition for special election on question of incorporation.

(A) The petition required by section 707.29 of the Revised Code shall be signed by twenty per cent of the electors in the territory, as determined by the total number of votes cast within that territory for the office of governor at the preceding general election for that office, and filed with the board of county commissioners requesting that the question of incorporating territory as a city be placed on the ballot at a special election. The petition shall contain or have attached to it all of the following:

(1) A full description and an accurate map of the territory within the proposed municipal corporation;

(2) A statement signed by the county auditor as to the total assessed valuation of the area proposed for incorporation;

(3) A statement showing that the territory meets all the criteria for incorporation of a city listed in division (A) of section 707.29 of the Revised Code;

(4) A statement by the secretary of state that the name proposed in the petition is not being used by any other municipal corporation in the state;

(5) The name of a person to act as agent for the petitioners.

(B) Upon filing the petition, the agent for the petitioners shall cause notice of the filing for incorporation, containing the substance of the petition and the date of filing, to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, for a period of three consecutive weeks. Any interested person or any municipal corporation through a representative may appear in support of or against the information contained in the incorporation petition at any session of the board before the board makes its determination and informs the board of elections of its determination under division (D) of this section.

(C) The petition required by section 707.29 of the Revised Code may be presented to the board of county commissioners at any session of the board, after which the board shall make it available for inspection by any interested person.

Upon the filing of the petition with the board of county commissioners, the board shall inform the board of elections and transfer to it a copy of the petition and any other relevant information available so that the board of elections may determine the sufficiency of the signatures on the petition. The petition shall be in conformity with the requirements of section 3501.38 of the Revised Code. The board of elections shall make its determination and report its conclusions regarding the sufficiency of the signatures to the board of county commissioners within sixty days after the date the petition was filed with the board of county commissioners.

The board of county commissioners may refer the description and the map or plat of the territory sought to be incorporated to the county engineer for a report upon their accuracy. When these items are so referred to him, the engineer shall, during the ninety-day period following the filing of the petition, report in writing to the board upon his findings. His report is not conclusive upon the board. Failure of the engineer to make a report does not affect the jurisdiction or duty of the board to proceed.

(D) The board of county commissioners shall, within ninety days after the petition is filed, determine whether the territory named in the petition fulfills all of the requirements listed in divisions (A)(1) to (5) of this section and whether notice has been published as required by division (B) of this section, and shall so inform the board of elections. If the board of county commissioners determines that the territory meets all of these requirements, and if the board of elections determines that the signatures on the petitions are sufficient, the board of elections shall schedule a special election. Every elector residing in the territory sought to be incorporated under the petition shall be permitted to vote on the following question, which shall be placed on the ballot:

"Shall the area known as ....................................... (insert a brief description of the area sought to be incorporated) be incorporated into a new city to be known as...................................... (insert the name of the proposed new city)?

____________________________________

| | FOR INCORPORATION |

|_____ |_____________________________ |

| | AGAINST INCORPORATION |

|_____ |_____________________________ |"

If a majority of the voters voting in the special election votes in favor of incorporation, the board of elections shall certify this result to the board of county commissioners. The incorporation of the territory as a city shall proceed as provided for municipal corporations in sections 707.08 , 707.09 , 707.21 to 707.24 , 707.27 , and 707.28 of the Revised Code.

If a majority of the voters voting in the special election votes against incorporation, the board of elections shall certify this result to the board of county commissioners, incorporation proceedings shall cease, and no further petitions shall be filed proposing the same incorporation for at least three years after the date of that election.

(E) The entire cost of a special election held pursuant to this section shall be charged, if the results of the election are in favor of incorporation, to the newly formed municipal corporation, and if the results of the election are against incorporation, to the township or townships from which territory was proposed for incorporation in the same proportion as the amount of territory in each township was to the total area proposed for incorporation.

(F) If the territory sought to be incorporated does incorporate and if the territory includes any real property owned by an existing municipal corporation, such real property shall be exempt from zoning regulations of the new municipal corporation so long as it is used for public purposes by the municipal corporation that owns it.

Public service contracts entered into by the township prior to the incorporation shall be renegotiated within six months after the effective date of incorporation.

Cite as R.C. § 707.30

Effective Date: 03-02-1992