(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.
Effective Date: 03-02-1992