Chapter 709: ANNEXATION; DETACHMENT

709.01 Annexation and detachment of territory.

Territory may be annexed to, merged with, or detached from, municipal corporations, in the manner provided in this chapter, provided that no territory lying 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 annexed to or merged with a municipal corporation under this chapter without the approval of the secretary of defense of the United States, the secretary's designee, or other person having authority under federal law to give such approval.

Cite as R.C. § 709.01

Effective Date: 10-01-1976; 2007 HB119 06-30-2007

709.011 Clerk to notify board of elections of vacancies in office and change in municipal boundaries.

The clerk or clerk of council of a municipal corporation shall notify the board of elections of all vacancies caused by death, resignation, or otherwise in the elective offices of the municipal corporation. Such notification shall be made in writing and filed not later than ten days after the vacancy occurs with the board of elections of the county or counties in which the municipal corporation is located.

The clerk or clerk of council of a municipal corporation shall notify the board of elections of all changes in the boundaries of the municipal corporation. Such notification shall be made in writing and contain a plat clearly showing all boundary changes and shall be filed with the board of elections of the county or counties in which the municipal corporation is located within thirty days after such change occurs.

Cite as R.C. § 709.011

Effective Date: 12-01-1967

709.012 Reduction in firefighting force resulting from annexation of township territory.

When a municipal corporation annexes township territory which results in a reduction of the firefighting force of the township or joint township fire district, the reduction shall be made by dismissal of firefighters in the inverse order of seniority, with the employee with least time of service being dismissed first. The annexing municipal corporation shall offer employment in the inverse order of dismissal by the township to such firefighters if a vacancy exists in the municipal fire department and if they:

(A) Were full-time paid active members of the township or joint township firefighting force for at least six months prior to dismissal and have made application to the municipal corporation within sixty days after the effective date of dismissal;

(B) Have passed a physical examination as prescribed by the physician of the annexing municipal corporation and meet the requirements necessary to perform firefighting duties;

(C) Meet minimum standards of the municipal corporation with respect to moral character, literacy, and ability to understand oral and written instructions as determined by an interview conducted by the fire department of the municipal corporation. The applicant shall be at least twenty-one years of age on the date of application.

(D) Are able to qualify for membership in the Ohio police and fire pension fund.

A physical examination required by division (B) of this section may be conducted by any individual authorized by the Revised Code to conduct physical examinations, including a physician assistant, a clinical nurse specialist, a certified nurse practitioner, or a certified nurse-midwife. Any written documentation of the physical examination shall be completed by the individual who administered the examination.

If no vacancy exists in the municipal fire department at the time of the application referred to in division (A) of this section, the application shall be held until a vacancy occurs. When such a vacancy occurs, the applicant shall be entitled to employment in accordance with the requirements of divisions (A), (B), (C), and (D) of this section. So long as any application for employment has been made and is being held under this section, the municipal corporation shall not fill any vacancy in its fire department by original appointment. If there are individuals who are entitled to reinstatement in the municipal fire department and the vacancies therein are insufficient to permit both such reinstatements and employment of all those applying for employment under division (A) of this section, the persons having the greatest length of service, whether with the municipal or township fire department, shall be entitled to fill the vacancies as they occur.

A person employed under this section, upon acceptance into the municipal fire department, shall be given the rank of "firefighter" and entitled to full seniority credit for prior service in the township or joint township fire district. The person shall be entitled to the same salary, future benefits, vacations, earned time, sick leave, and other rights and privileges as the municipal fire department extends to other employees with the same amount of prior service. The person may take promotional examinations only after completion of one year of service with the municipal fire department and after meeting any applicable civil service requirements for such examination.

Compliance with this section is in lieu of compliance with section 124.42 of the Revised Code or any other requirements for original appointment to a municipal fire district.

Cite as R.C. § 709.012

Effective Date: 03-31-2003

709.013 Multiple annexation petitions concerning same territory.

(A) If, after a petition for annexation is filed with the board of county commissioners, one or more other petitions are filed containing all or a part of the territory contained in the first petition, the board shall hear and decide the petitions in the order in which they were filed.

(B) The effect of granting any petition under division (A) of this section shall be to delete from any subsequently filed petition any territory contained in the petition that was granted.

(C) If two or more petitions for annexation are filed seeking to annex part or all of the same territory and appeals are subsequently filed under section 709.07 of the Revised Code, each court shall decide the appeal on the first-filed petition before considering the appeal in any subsequently filed petition.

Cite as R.C. § 709.013

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.014 Fee schedule for annexation costs.

(A) The board of county commissioners may establish a reasonable fee or schedule of fees to cover its costs incurred in any annexation proceedings that take place under this chapter. The board also may require an initial deposit to be paid at the time a petition for annexation is filed under sections 709.02 to 709.21 of the Revised Code or promptly after that time. The clerk of the board shall maintain an accurate and detailed accounting of all funds received and expended in the processing of a petition for annexation filed under sections 709.02 to 709.21 of the Revised Code.

(B) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in division (E) of section 709.024 and division (A) of section 709.03 of the Revised Code, the board of county commissioners, by resolution, may appoint the clerk of the board or the county administrator to set the date, time, and place for hearings, and to provide associated notices to the agent for the petitioners, required under those divisions instead of the board.

Cite as R.C. § 709.014

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.015 Substantial compliance with procedural requirements is sufficient to grant jurisdiction.

The procedural requirements set forth in sections 709.02 to 709.21 of the Revised Code are directory in nature. Substantial compliance with the procedural requirements of those sections is sufficient to grant the board of county commissioners jurisdiction to hear and render its decision on a petition for annexation filed under those sections. The board shall cure a procedural defect and shall not deny a petition for annexation solely upon the basis of procedural defects.

Cite as R.C. § 709.015

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.02 Petition for annexation by owners of contiguous real estate.

(A) The owners of real estate contiguous to a municipal corporation may petition for annexation to a municipal corporation in the manner provided by sections 709.02 to 709.11 of the Revised Code.

(B) Application for annexation shall be made by a petition filed with the clerk of the board of county commissioners of the county in which the territory is located.

(C) The petition required by this section shall contain the following:

(1) The signatures of a majority of the owners of real estate in the territory proposed for annexation. The person who signs or the circulator of the petition also shall write the date the signature was made next to the owner's name. No signature obtained more than one hundred eighty days before the date on which the petition is filed shall be counted in determining the number of signers of the petition. Any owner who signed the petition may have the signature removed before the document is filed by delivering a signed statement to the agent for the petitioners expressing the owner's wish to have the signature removed. Upon receiving a signed statement, the agent for the petitioners shall strike through the signature, causing the signature to be deleted from the petition.

(2) An accurate legal description of the perimeter and an accurate map or plat of the territory proposed for annexation;

(3) The name of a person or persons to act as agent for the petitioners. The agent for the petitioners may be an official, employee, or agent of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed.

(D) At the time of filing the petition for annexation, the agent for the petitioners also shall file with the clerk of the board a list of all tracts, lots, or parcels in the territory proposed for annexation, and all tracts, lots, or parcels located adjacent to that territory or directly across the road from it when the road is adjacent to it, including the name and mailing address of the owner of each tract, lot, or parcel, and the permanent parcel number from the county auditor's permanent parcel numbering system established under section 319.28 of the Revised Code for each tract, lot, or parcel. This list shall not be considered to be a part of the petition for annexation, and any error on the list shall not affect the validity of the petition.

(E) As used in sections 709.02 to 709.21 , 709.38 , and 709.39 of the Revised Code, "owner" or "owners" means any adult individual who is legally competent, the state or any political subdivision as defined in section 5713.081 of the Revised Code, and any firm, trustee, or private corporation, any of which is seized of a freehold estate in land; except that easements and any railroad, utility, street, and highway rights-of-way held in fee, by easement, or by dedication and acceptance are not included within those meanings; and no person, firm, trustee, or private corporation, the state, or any political subdivision, that has become an owner of real estate by a conveyance, the primary purpose of which is to affect the number of owners required to sign a petition for annexation, is included within those meanings. For purposes of sections 709.02 to 709.21 , 709.38 , and 709.39 of the Revised Code, the state or any political subdivision shall not be considered an owner and shall not be included in determining the number of owners needed to sign a petition unless an authorized agent of the state or the political subdivision signs the petition. The authorized agent for the state shall be the director of administrative services.

An owner is determined as of the date the petition is filed with the board of county commissioners. If the owner is a corporation, partnership, business trust, estate, trust, organization, association, group, institution, society, state, or political subdivision, the petition shall be signed by a person who is authorized to sign for that entity. A person who owns more than one parcel of real estate, either individually or as a tenant in common or by survivorship tenancy, shall be counted as one owner for purposes of this chapter.

Cite as R.C. § 709.02

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.021 Special procedure where owners unanimously request annexation.

(A) When a petition signed by all of the owners of real estate in the unincorporated territory of a township proposed for annexation requests the annexation of that territory to a municipal corporation contiguous to that territory under one of the special procedures provided for annexation in sections 709.022 , 709.023 , and 709.024 of the Revised Code, the annexation proceedings shall be conducted under those sections to the exclusion of any other provisions of this chapter unless otherwise provided in this section or the special procedure section chosen.

(B) Application for annexation shall be made by a petition filed with the clerk of the board of county commissioners of the county in which the territory is located, and the procedures contained in divisions (C), (D), and (E) of section 709.02 of the Revised Code shall be followed, except that all owners, not just a majority of owners, shall sign the petition. To be valid, each petition circulated for the special procedure in section 709.022 or 709.023 of the Revised Code shall contain the notice provided for in division (B) of section 709.022 or division (A) of section 709.023 of the Revised Code, whichever is applicable.

(C) Except as otherwise provided in this section, only this section and sections 709.014 , 709.015 , 709.04 , 709.10 , 709.11 , 709.12 , 709.192 , 709.20 , and 709.21 of the Revised Code apply to the granting of an annexation described in this section.

(D) As used in sections 709.022 and 709.024 of the Revised Code, "party" or "parties" means the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed, each township any portion of which is included within the territory proposed for annexation, and the agent for the petitioners.

Cite as R.C. § 709.021

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.022 Petition where owners unanimously request annexation.

(A) A petition filed under section 709.021 of the Revised Code that requests to follow this section is for the special procedure of annexing land with the consent of all parties. The petition shall be accompanied by a certified copy of an annexation agreement provided for in section 709.192 of the Revised Code or of a cooperative economic development agreement provided for in section 701.07 of the Revised Code, that is entered into by the municipal corporation and each township any portion of which is included within the territory proposed for annexation. Upon the receipt of the petition and the applicable agreement, the board of county commissioners, at the board's next regular session, shall enter upon its journal a resolution granting the annexation, without holding a hearing.

(B) Owners who sign a petition requesting that the special procedure in this section be followed expressly waive their right to appeal any action taken by the board of county commissioners under this section. There is no appeal from the board's decision under this section in law or in equity.

The petition circulated to collect signatures for the special procedure in this section shall contain in boldface capital letters immediately above the heading of the place for signatures on each part of the petition the following: "WHOEVER SIGNS THIS PETITION EXPRESSLY WAIVES THEIR RIGHT TO APPEAL ANY ACTION ON THE PETITION TAKEN BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. THERE ALSO IS NO APPEAL FROM THE BOARD'S DECISION IN THIS MATTER IN LAW OR IN EQUITY."

(C) After the board of county commissioners grants the petition for annexation, the clerk of the board shall deliver a certified copy of the entire record of the annexation proceedings, including all resolutions of the board, signed by a majority of the members of the board, the petition, map, and all other papers on file, and the recording of the proceedings, if a copy is available, to the auditor or clerk of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed.

Cite as R.C. § 709.022

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.023 Special annexation procedure where land is not excluded from township.

(A) A petition filed under section 709.021 of the Revised Code that requests to follow this section is for the special procedure of annexing land into a municipal corporation when, subject to division (H) of this section, the land also is not to be excluded from the township under section 503.07 of the Revised Code. The owners who sign this petition by their signature expressly waive their right to appeal in law or equity from the board of county commissioners' entry of any resolution under this section, waive any rights they may have to sue on any issue relating to a municipal corporation requiring a buffer as provided in this section, and waive any rights to seek a variance that would relieve or exempt them from that buffer requirement.

The petition circulated to collect signatures for the special procedure in this section shall contain in boldface capital letters immediately above the heading of the place for signatures on each part of the petition the following: "WHOEVER SIGNS THIS PETITION EXPRESSLY WAIVES THEIR RIGHT TO APPEAL IN LAW OR EQUITY FROM THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS' ENTRY OF ANY RESOLUTION PERTAINING TO THIS SPECIAL ANNEXATION PROCEDURE, ALTHOUGH A WRIT OF MANDAMUS MAY BE SOUGHT TO COMPEL THE BOARD TO PERFORM ITS DUTIES REQUIRED BY LAW FOR THIS SPECIAL ANNEXATION PROCEDURE."

(B) Upon the filing of the petition in the office of the clerk of the board of county commissioners, the clerk shall cause the petition to be entered upon the board's journal at its next regular session. This entry shall be the first official act of the board on the petition. Within five days after the filing of the petition, the agent for the petitioners shall notify in the manner and form specified in this division the clerk of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed, the fiscal officer of each township any portion of which is included within the territory proposed for annexation, the clerk of the board of county commissioners of each county in which the territory proposed for annexation is located other than the county in which the petition is filed, and the owners of property adjacent to the territory proposed for annexation or adjacent to a road that is adjacent to that territory and located directly across that road from that territory. The notice shall refer to the time and date when the petition was filed and the county in which it was filed and shall have attached or shall be accompanied by a copy of the petition and any attachments or documents accompanying the petition as filed.

Notice to a property owner is sufficient if sent by regular United States mail to the tax mailing address listed on the county auditor's records. Notice to the appropriate government officer shall be given by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by causing the notice to be personally served on the officer, with proof of service by affidavit of the person who delivered the notice. Proof of service of the notice on each appropriate government officer shall be filed with the board of county commissioners with which the petition was filed.

(C) Within twenty days after the date that the petition is filed, the legislative authority of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed shall adopt an ordinance or resolution stating what services the municipal corporation will provide, and an approximate date by which it will provide them, to the territory proposed for annexation, upon annexation. The municipal corporation is entitled in its sole discretion to provide to the territory proposed for annexation, upon annexation, services in addition to the services described in that ordinance or resolution.

If the territory proposed for annexation is subject to zoning regulations adopted under either Chapter 303. or 519. of the Revised Code at the time the petition is filed, the legislative authority of the municipal corporation also shall adopt an ordinance or resolution stating that, if the territory is annexed and becomes subject to zoning by the municipal corporation and that municipal zoning permits uses in the annexed territory that the municipal corporation determines are clearly incompatible with the uses permitted under current county or township zoning regulations in the adjacent land remaining within the township from which the territory was annexed, the legislative authority of the municipal corporation will require, in the zoning ordinance permitting the incompatible uses, the owner of the annexed territory to provide a buffer separating the use of the annexed territory and the adjacent land remaining within the township. For the purposes of this section, "buffer" includes open space, landscaping, fences, walls, and other structured elements; streets and street rights-of-way; and bicycle and pedestrian paths and sidewalks.

The clerk of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed shall file the ordinances or resolutions adopted under this division with the board of county commissioners within twenty days following the date that the petition is filed. The board shall make these ordinances or resolutions available for public inspection.

(D) Within twenty-five days after the date that the petition is filed, the legislative authority of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed and each township any portion of which is included within the territory proposed for annexation may adopt and file with the board of county commissioners an ordinance or resolution consenting or objecting to the proposed annexation. An objection to the proposed annexation shall be based solely upon the petition's failure to meet the conditions specified in division (E) of this section.

If the municipal corporation and each of those townships timely files an ordinance or resolution consenting to the proposed annexation, the board at its next regular session shall enter upon its journal a resolution granting the proposed annexation. If, instead, the municipal corporation or any of those townships files an ordinance or resolution that objects to the proposed annexation, the board of county commissioners shall proceed as provided in division (E) of this section. Failure of the municipal corporation or any of those townships to timely file an ordinance or resolution consenting or objecting to the proposed annexation shall be deemed to constitute consent by that municipal corporation or township to the proposed annexation.

(E) Unless the petition is granted under division (D) of this section, not less than thirty or more than forty-five days after the date that the petition is filed, the board of county commissioners shall review it to determine if each of the following conditions has been met:

(1) The petition meets all the requirements set forth in, and was filed in the manner provided in, section 709.021 of the Revised Code.

(2) The persons who signed the petition are owners of the real estate located in the territory proposed for annexation and constitute all of the owners of real estate in that territory.

(3) The territory proposed for annexation does not exceed five hundred acres.

(4) The territory proposed for annexation shares a contiguous boundary with the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed for a continuous length of at least five per cent of the perimeter of the territory proposed for annexation.

(5) The annexation will not create an unincorporated area of the township that is completely surrounded by the territory proposed for annexation.

(6) The municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed has agreed to provide to the territory proposed for annexation the services specified in the relevant ordinance or resolution adopted under division (C) of this section.

(7) If a street or highway will be divided or segmented by the boundary line between the township and the municipal corporation as to create a road maintenance problem, the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed has agreed as a condition of the annexation to assume the maintenance of that street or highway or to otherwise correct the problem. As used in this section, "street" or "highway" has the same meaning as in section 4511.01 of the Revised Code.

(F) Not less than thirty or more than forty-five days after the date that the petition is filed, if the petition is not granted under division (D) of this section, the board of county commissioners, if it finds that each of the conditions specified in division (E) of this section has been met, shall enter upon its journal a resolution granting the annexation. If the board of county commissioners finds that one or more of the conditions specified in division (E) of this section have not been met, it shall enter upon its journal a resolution that states which of those conditions the board finds have not been met and that denies the petition.

(G) If a petition is granted under division (D) or (F) of this section, the clerk of the board of county commissioners shall proceed as provided in division (C)(1) of section 709.033 of the Revised Code, except that no recording or hearing exhibits would be involved. There is no appeal in law or equity from the board's entry of any resolution under this section, but any party may seek a writ of mandamus to compel the board of county commissioners to perform its duties under this section.

(H) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in section 503.07 of the Revised Code, unless otherwise provided in an annexation agreement entered into pursuant to section 709.192 of the Revised Code or in a cooperative economic development agreement entered into pursuant to section 701.07 of the Revised Code, territory annexed into a municipal corporation pursuant to this section shall not at any time be excluded from the township under section 503.07 of the Revised Code and, thus, remains subject to the township's real property taxes.

(I) Any owner of land that remains within a township and that is adjacent to territory annexed pursuant to this section who is directly affected by the failure of the annexing municipal corporation to enforce compliance with any zoning ordinance it adopts under division (C) of this section requiring the owner of the annexed territory to provide a buffer zone, may commence in the court of common pleas a civil action against that owner to enforce compliance with that buffer requirement whenever the required buffer is not in place before any development of the annexed territory begins.

(J) Division (H)(12) of section 718.01 of the Revised Code applies to the compensation paid to persons performing personal services for a political subdivision on property owned by the political subdivision after that property is annexed to a municipal corporation under this section.

Cite as R.C. § 709.023

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.195, HB 50, §1, eff. 3/27/2013.

Effective Date: 10-26-2001; 12-20-2005

709.024 Special annexation procedure for purpose of undertaking significant economic development project.

(A) A petition filed under section 709.021 of the Revised Code that requests to follow this section is for the special procedure of annexing land into a municipal corporation for the purpose of undertaking a significant economic development project. As used in this section, "significant economic development project" means one or more economic development projects that can be classified as industrial, distribution, high technology, research and development, or commercial, which projects may include ancillary residential and retail uses and which projects shall satisfy all of the following:

(1) Total private real and personal property investment in a project shall be in excess of ten million dollars through land and infrastructure, new construction, reconstruction, installation of fixtures and equipment, or the addition of inventory, excluding investment solely related to the ancillary residential and retail elements, if any, of the project. As used in this division, "private real and personal property investment" does not include payments in lieu of taxes, however characterized, under Chapter 725. or 1728. or sections 5709.40 to 5709.43 , 5709.73 to 5709.75 , or 5709.78 to 5709.81 of the Revised Code.

(2) There shall be created by the project an additional annual payroll in excess of one million dollars, excluding payroll arising solely out of the retail elements, if any, of the project.

(3) The project has been certified by the state director of development as meeting the requirements of divisions (A)(1) and (2) of this section.

(B) Upon the filing of the petition under section 709.021 of the Revised Code in the office of the clerk of the board of county commissioners, the clerk shall cause the petition to be entered upon the journal of the board at its next regular session. This entry shall be the first official act of the board on the petition. Within five days after the filing of the petition, the agent for the petitioners shall notify in the manner and form specified in this division the clerk of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed, the fiscal officer of each township any portion of which is included within the territory proposed for annexation, the clerk of the board of county commissioners of each county in which the territory proposed for annexation is located other than the county in which the petition is filed, and the owners of property adjacent to the territory proposed for annexation or adjacent to a road that is adjacent to that territory and located directly across that road from that territory. The notice shall refer to the time and date when the petition was filed and the county in which it was filed and shall have attached or shall be accompanied by a copy of the petition and any attachments or documents accompanying the petition as filed.

Notice to a property owner is sufficient if sent by regular United States mail to the tax mailing address listed on the county auditor's records. Notice to the appropriate government officer shall be given by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by causing the notice to be personally served on the officer, with proof of service by affidavit of the person who delivered the notice. Proof of service of the notice on each appropriate government officer shall be filed with the board of county commissioners with which the petition was filed.

(C)

(1) Within thirty days after the petition is filed, the legislative authority of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed and each township any portion of which is included within the territory proposed for annexation may adopt and file with the board of county commissioners an ordinance or resolution consenting or objecting to the proposed annexation. An objection to the proposed annexation shall be based solely upon the petition's failure to meet the conditions specified in division (F) of this section. Failure of the municipal corporation or any of those townships to timely file an ordinance or resolution consenting or objecting to the proposed annexation shall be deemed to constitute consent by that municipal corporation or township to the proposed annexation.

(2) Within twenty days after receiving the notice required by division (B) of this section, the legislative authority of the municipal corporation shall adopt, by ordinance or resolution, a statement indicating what services the municipal corporation will provide or cause to be provided, and an approximate date by which it will provide or cause them to be provided, to the territory proposed for annexation, upon annexation. If a hearing is to be conducted under division (E) of this section, the legislative authority shall file the statement with the clerk of the board of county commissioners at least twenty days before the date of the hearing.

(D) If all parties to the annexation proceedings consent to the proposed annexation, a hearing shall not be held, and the board, at its next regular session, shall enter upon its journal a resolution granting the annexation. There is no appeal in law or in equity from the board's entry of a resolution under this division. The clerk of the board shall proceed as provided in division (C)(1) of section 709.033 of the Revised Code.

(E) Unless the petition is granted under division (D) of this section, a hearing shall be held on the petition. The board of county commissioners shall hear the petition at its next regular session and shall notify the agent for the petitioners of the hearing's date, time, and place. The agent for the petitioners shall give, within five days after receipt of the notice of the hearing from the board, to the parties and property owners entitled to notice under division (B) of this section, notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing. Notice to a property owner is sufficient if sent by regular United States mail to the tax mailing address listed on the county auditor's records. At the hearing, the parties and any owner of real estate within the territory proposed to be annexed are entitled to appear for the purposes described in division (C) of section 709.032 of the Revised Code.

(F) Within thirty days after a hearing under division (E) of this section, the board of county commissioners shall enter upon its journal a resolution granting or denying the proposed annexation. The resolution shall include specific findings of fact as to whether or not each of the conditions listed in this division has been met. If the board grants the annexation, the clerk of the board shall proceed as provided in division (C)(1) of section 709.033 of the Revised Code.

The board shall enter a resolution granting the annexation if it finds, based upon a preponderance of the substantial, reliable, and probative evidence on the whole record, that each of the following conditions has been met:

(1) The petition meets all the requirements set forth in, and was filed in the manner provided in, section 709.021 of the Revised Code.

(2) The persons who signed the petition are owners of real estate located in the territory proposed to be annexed in the petition and constitute all of the owners of real estate in that territory.

(3) No street or highway will be divided or segmented by the boundary line between a township and the municipal corporation as to create a road maintenance problem, or if the street or highway will be so divided or segmented, the municipal corporation has agreed, as a condition of the annexation, that it will assume the maintenance of that street or highway. For the purposes of this division, "street" or "highway" has the same meaning as in section 4511.01 of the Revised Code.

(4) The municipal corporation to which the territory is proposed to be annexed has adopted an ordinance or resolution as required by division (C)(2) of this section.

(5) The state director of development has certified that the project meets the requirements of divisions (A)(1) and (2) of this section and thereby qualifies as a significant economic development project. The director's certification is binding on the board of county commissioners.

(G) An owner who signed the petition may appeal a decision of the board of county commissioners denying the proposed annexation under section 709.07 of the Revised Code. No other person has standing to appeal the board's decision in law or in equity. If the board grants the annexation, there shall be no appeal in law or in equity.

(H) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in section 503.07 of the Revised Code, unless otherwise provided in an annexation agreement entered into pursuant to section 709.192 of the Revised Code or in a cooperative economic development agreement entered into pursuant to section 701.07 of the Revised Code, territory annexed into a municipal corporation pursuant to this section shall not at any time be excluded from the township under section 503.07 of the Revised Code and, thus, remains subject to the township's real property taxes.

(I) A municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed is entitled in its sole discretion to provide to the territory proposed for annexation, upon annexation, services in addition to the services described in the ordinance or resolution adopted by the legislative authority of the municipal corporation under division (C)(2) of this section.

Cite as R.C. § 709.024

Effective Date: 10-26-2001; 12-20-2005

709.03 Petition presented to board of county commissioners - proceedings.

(A) Once a petition described in section 709.02 of the Revised Code is filed, the clerk of the board of county commissioners shall cause the petition to be entered upon the journal of the board at its next regular session. This entry shall be the first official act of the board on the petition. Within five days after the filing of the petition, the board shall set the date, time, and place for the hearing on the petition and shall notify the agent for the petitioners. The date for the hearing shall be not less than sixty or more than ninety days after the petition is filed with the clerk of the board.

(B) Upon being notified of the date of the hearing, the agent for the petitioners shall do all of the following:

(1) Within five days cause written notice of the filing of the petition with the board of county commissioners, the date and time of the filing, and the date, time, and place of the hearing, to be delivered to the clerk of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed, to the clerk of each township any portion of which is included within the territory proposed for annexation, and to the clerk of the board of county commissioners of each county in which the territory proposed for annexation is located other than the county in which the petition is filed. The notice shall state the date and time when the petition was filed and the county in which it was filed and shall have attached or shall be accompanied by a copy of the petition and any attachments or documents accompanying the petition as filed. The notice shall be given by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by causing the notice to be personally served on the appropriate governmental officer, with proof of service being by affidavit of the person who delivered the notice. Within ten days after the date of completion of service, the agent for the petitioners shall file proof of service of the notice with the board of county commissioners with which the petition was filed.

(2) Within ten days send by regular mail a copy of the notice of the board of county commissioners of the hearing to all owners of property within the territory proposed to be annexed, and to all owners of property adjacent to the territory proposed to be annexed or adjacent to a road that is adjacent to that territory and located directly across that road from that territory, whose names were provided by the agent for the petitioners under division (D) of section 709.02 of the Revised Code, along with a map of the territory proposed to be annexed and a statement indicating where the full petition for annexation can be reviewed. The notice also shall include a statement that any owner who signed the petition may remove the owner's signature by filing with the clerk of the board of county commissioners a written notice of withdrawal of the owner's signature within twenty-one days after the date the agent mails the notice; the agent shall include with each mailed notice a certification of the date of its mailing for this purpose. Within ten days after the mailing of the notices, the agent shall file with the board of county commissioners with which the petition was filed, a notarized affidavit that a notice was sent by regular mail to these property owners.

(3) Cause a notice containing the substance of the petition, and the date, time, and place of the hearing, to be published at least once and at least seven days prior to the date fixed for the hearing, in a newspaper of general circulation in each county in which territory proposed for annexation is situated. Within ten days after the date of completion of the publication or at the hearing, whichever comes first, the agent for the petitioners shall file proof of publication of the notice with the board of county commissioners with which the petition was filed.

(C) Any owner who signed the annexation petition may remove that signature by filing with the clerk of the board of county commissioners a written notice of withdrawal of the owner's signature within twenty-one days after the date the agent for the petitioners mailed the notice of the hearing to the owner as provided in division (B)(2) of this section. Thereafter, signatures may be withdrawn or removed only in the manner authorized by section 709.032 of the Revised Code.

(D) Upon receiving the notice described in division (B)(1) of this section, the legislative authority of the municipal corporation shall adopt, by ordinance or resolution, a statement indicating what services the municipal corporation will provide, and an approximate date by which it will provide them, to the territory proposed for annexation, upon annexation. The statement shall be filed with the board of county commissioners at least twenty days before the date of the hearing. The municipal corporation is entitled in its sole discretion to provide to the territory proposed for annexation, upon annexation, services in addition to the services described in the ordinance or resolution it adopts under this division.

Cite as R.C. § 709.03

Effective Date: 2001 SB5 10-26-2001; 2005 SB107 12-20-2005

709.031 Report on accuracy of legal description - verification of signatures.

(A) Within five days after the petition for annexation is filed with the board of county commissioners, the clerk of the board shall refer the legal description of the perimeter and the map or plat of the territory proposed to be annexed to the county engineer for a report upon the accuracy of the legal description of the perimeter, map, or plat. Upon receiving these items, the county engineer shall file, at least twenty-five days before the hearing, a written report with the board based on the engineer's findings, which shall not be conclusive upon the board. Failure of the engineer to make the report shall not affect the jurisdiction or duty of the board to proceed.

(B) The petition may be amended without further notice by leave of the board of county commissioners and with the consent of the agent for the petitioners if the amendment does not add to the territory embraced in the original petition and is made at least fifteen days before the date of the hearing. The board may rerefer the legal description of the perimeter, map, or plat to the county engineer if revisions are made in them, for a report on their accuracy. Upon receiving these items, the county engineer shall file, on or before the date of the hearing, a written report with the board based on the engineer's findings, which shall not be conclusive upon the board. Failure of the engineer to make the report shall not affect the jurisdiction or duty of the board to proceed.

(C) The board of township trustees of any township containing any territory proposed for annexation and any owners of real estate in the territory proposed for annexation may request that reasonable proof be presented of the authority of a person signing the petition on behalf of any person other than a natural being, the state, or a political subdivision of the state. The request shall be in writing and be filed with the board of county commissioners and with the agent for the petitioners at least fifteen days prior to the hearing on the petition. When such a request is filed, the agent for the petitioners shall present to the board of county commissioners at the hearing held under section 709.032 of the Revised Code sufficient evidence by affidavit or testimony to establish that the owner is a person other than a natural being, the state, or a political subdivision of the state and that the owner authorized the person whose signature is on the petition to sign the petition on its behalf. If the board does not find the evidence sufficient to establish this authority, it shall remove the signature from the petition.

Cite as R.C. § 709.031

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.032 Annexation hearing.

(A) As used in this section, "necessary party" means the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed, each township any portion of which is included within the territory proposed for annexation, and the agent for the petitioners.

(B) The hearing provided for in section 709.03 of the Revised Code shall be public. The board of county commissioners may, or at the request of any necessary party shall, issue subpoenas for witnesses or for books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, agreements, or other documents or records relevant or material to the petition, directed to the sheriff of each county where the witnesses or documents or records are found, which subpoenas shall be served and returned in the same manner as those allowed by the court of common pleas in criminal cases. The fees of sheriffs shall be the same as those allowed by the court of common pleas in criminal cases. Witnesses shall be paid the fees and mileage provided for under section 1901.26 of the Revised Code. The fee and mileage expenses incurred at the request of a party shall be paid in advance by the party, and the remainder of the expenses shall be paid out of fees charged by the board for the annexation proceedings. In case of disobedience or neglect of any subpoena served on any person, or the refusal of any witness to testify to any matter regarding which the witness may be lawfully interrogated, the court of common pleas of the county in which the disobedience, neglect, or refusal occurs, or any judge of that court, on application of the board, any member of the board, or a necessary party, may compel obedience by attachment proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued from the court or a refusal to testify in the court. An owner of a company, firm, partnership, association, or corporation that is subpeoned may have an agent or attorney appear before the board on that owner's behalf in response to the subpoena.

The board of county commissioners shall make, by electronic means or some other suitable method, a record of the hearing. If a request, accompanied by a deposit to pay the costs, is filed with the board not later than seven days before the hearing, the board shall provide an official court reporter to record the hearing. The record of the hearing need not be transcribed unless a request, accompanied by an amount to cover the cost of transcribing the record, is filed with the board.

(C) Any person may appear in person or by attorney and, after being sworn, may support or contest the granting of the petition. Affidavits presented in support of or against the petition shall be considered by the board, but only if the affidavits are filed with the board and served as provided in the Rules of Civil Procedure upon the necessary parties to the annexation proceedings at least fifteen days before the date of the hearing; provided that the board shall accept an affidavit after the fifteen-day period if the purpose of the affidavit is only to establish the affiant's authority to sign the petition on behalf of the entity for which the affiant signed. Necessary parties or their representatives are entitled to present evidence, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and comment on all evidence, including any affidavits presented to the board under this division.

(D) At the hearing, any owner who signed the petition for annexation may appear and, after being sworn as provided by section 305.21 of the Revised Code, testify orally that the owner's signature was obtained by fraud, duress, misrepresentation, including any misrepresentation relating to the provision of municipal services to the territory proposed to be annexed, or undue influence. Any person may testify orally after being so sworn in support of or rebuttal to the prior testimony by the owner. Any witnesses and owners who testify shall be subject to cross-examination by the necessary parties to the annexation proceedings. If a majority of the county commissioners find that the owner's signature was obtained under circumstances that did constitute fraud, duress, misrepresentation, or undue influence, they shall find the signature to be void and shall order it removed from the petition as of the time the petition was filed.

Cite as R.C. § 709.032

Effective Date: 10-26-2001; 2008 HB525 07-01-2009

709.033 Commissioners' resolution granting or denying annexation.

(A) After the hearing on a petition for annexation, the board of county commissioners shall enter upon its journal a resolution granting the annexation if it finds, based upon a preponderance of the substantial, reliable, and probative evidence on the whole record, that each of the following conditions has been met:

(1) The petition meets all the requirements set forth in, and was filed in the manner provided in, section 709.02 of the Revised Code.

(2) The persons who signed the petition are owners of real estate located in the territory proposed to be annexed in the petition, and, as of the time the petition was filed with the board of county commissioners, the number of valid signatures on the petition constituted a majority of the owners of real estate in that territory.

(3) The municipal corporation to which the territory is proposed to be annexed has complied with division (D) of section 709.03 of the Revised Code.

(4) The territory proposed to be annexed is not unreasonably large.

(5) On balance, the general good of the territory proposed to be annexed will be served, and the benefits to the territory proposed to be annexed and the surrounding area will outweigh the detriments to the territory proposed to be annexed and the surrounding area, if the annexation petition is granted. As used in division (A)(5) of this section, "surrounding area" means the territory within the unincorporated area of any township located one-half mile or less from any of the territory proposed to be annexed.

(6) No street or highway will be divided or segmented by the boundary line between a township and the municipal corporation as to create a road maintenance problem, or, if a street or highway will be so divided or segmented, the municipal corporation has agreed, as a condition of the annexation, that it will assume the maintenance of that street or highway. For the purposes of this division, "street" or "highway" has the same meaning as in section 4511.01 of the Revised Code.

(B) The board of county commissioners shall enter upon its journal a resolution granting or denying the petition for annexation within thirty days after the hearing provided for in section 709.032 of the Revised Code. The resolution shall include specific findings of fact as to whether each of the conditions listed in divisions (A)(1) to (6) of this section has been met. Upon journalization of the resolution, the clerk of the board shall send a certified copy of it to the agent for the petitioners, the clerk of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed, the fiscal officer of each township in which the territory proposed for annexation is located, and the clerk of the board of county commissioners of each county in which the territory proposed for annexation is located other than the county in which the petition is filed. The clerk of the board shall take no further action until the expiration of thirty days after the date of journalization.

(C) After the expiration of that thirty-day period, if no appeal has been timely filed under section 709.07 of the Revised Code, the clerk of the board of county commissioners shall take one of the following actions:

(1) If the board granted the petition for annexation, the clerk shall deliver a certified copy of the entire record of the annexation proceedings, including all resolutions of the board, signed by a majority of the members of the board, the petition, map, and all other papers on file, the recording of the proceedings, if a copy is available, and exhibits presented at the hearing relating to the annexation proceedings, to the auditor or clerk of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed.

(2) If the board denied the petition for annexation, the clerk shall send a certified copy of its resolution denying the annexation to the agent for the petitioners and to the clerk of the municipal corporation to which the annexation was proposed.

(D) If an appeal is filed in a timely manner under section 709.07 of the Revised Code from the determination of the board of county commissioners granting or denying the petition for annexation, the clerk of the board shall take further action only in accordance with that section.

Cite as R.C. § 709.033

Effective Date: 10-26-2001; 12-20-2005

709.04 Accepting or rejecting annexation by ordinance or resolution.

At the next regular session of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed, after the expiration of sixty days from the date of the delivery required by division (C) of section 709.022 or division (C)(1) of section 709.033 of the Revised Code, the auditor or clerk of that municipal corporation shall lay the resolution of the board granting the petition and the accompanying map or plat and petition before the legislative authority. The legislative authority, by resolution or ordinance, then shall accept or reject the petition for annexation. If the legislative authority fails to pass an ordinance or resolution accepting the petition for annexation within a period of one hundred twenty days after those documents are laid before it by the auditor or clerk, the petition for annexation shall be considered rejected by the legislative authority.

Cite as R.C. § 709.04

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.05 Rejection of application - effect.

If the resolution or ordinance required by section 709.04 of the Revised Code is a rejection of the application for annexation, no further proceedings shall be had. Such rejection shall not be a bar to application thereafter to the board of county commissioners on the same subject.

Cite as R.C. § 709.05

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.06 Proceedings when application allowed.

If the resolution or ordinance required by section 709.04 of the Revised Code is an acceptance of the proposed annexation, the auditor or clerk of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed shall make three copies containing the petition, the map or plat accompanying the petition, a transcript of the proceedings of the board of county commissioners, and resolutions and ordinances in relation to the annexation, with a certificate to each copy that it is correct. Such certificate shall be signed by the auditor or clerk in the auditor's or clerk's official capacity, and shall be authenticated by the seal of the municipal corporation if there is any. The auditor or clerk shall forthwith deliver one such copy to the county auditor and one such copy to the county recorder, who shall record it in the official records . The other copy shall be forwarded by the auditor or clerk to the secretary of state.

Cite as R.C. § 709.06

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

Effective Date: 12-01-1967

709.07 Appeals.

(A) The agent for the petitioners, any owner of real estate in the territory proposed for annexation, any township in which territory proposed for annexation is located, and the municipal corporation to which the territory is proposed to be annexed may file an appeal under Chapter 2506. of the Revised Code from a resolution of the board of county commissioners granting or denying the petition. The agent for the petitioners, any township in which the territory proposed for annexation is located, and any municipal corporation to which the territory is proposed to be annexed are necessary parties in an appeal. The filing of a notice of appeal with the clerk of the board of county commissioners shall operate as a stay of execution upon that clerk and all parties to the appeal, which stay shall not be lifted until the court having jurisdiction over the proceedings enters a final order affirming or reversing the decision of the board of county commissioners and the time limits for an appeal of that final order have passed without a notice of appeal being filed.

(B) Any party filing an appeal from the court of common pleas or court of appeals decision in an annexation matter shall serve on the clerk of the board of county commissioners a time-stamped copy of the notice of appeal. Upon issuance of a final order of any court regarding an annexation appeal, the clerk of the court shall forward a certified copy of the court's order to the clerk of the board of county commissioners that rendered the annexation decision that was appealed.

(C) If, after all appeals have been exhausted, the final determination of the court is that the petition for annexation should be granted, the board of county commissioners shall enter on its journal a resolution granting the annexation, if such a resolution has not already been journalized, and the clerk of the board shall deliver a certified copy of that journal entry and of the entire record of the annexation proceedings, including all resolutions of the board, signed by a majority of the members of the board, the petition, map, and all other papers on file, the transcript of the proceedings, and exhibits presented at the hearing relating to the annexation proceedings, to the auditor or clerk of the municipal corporation to which annexation is proposed. The municipal auditor or clerk shall lay these certified papers, along with the copy of the court's order, before the legislative authority at its next regular meeting. The legislative authority then shall proceed to accept or reject the petition for annexation as provided under section 709.04 of the Revised Code.

(D) If, after all appeals have been exhausted, the final determination of the court is that the petition for annexation should be denied, the board of county commissioners shall enter on its journal a resolution denying the annexation, if such a resolution has not already been journalized.

Cite as R.C. § 709.07

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.08, 707.09 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 709.08, 707.09

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.10 Effective date of annexation and rights of inhabitants.

The annexation shall become effective thirty days after the passage of the resolution or ordinance by the legislative authority of the municipal corporation accepting annexation, provided that if the resolution or ordinance is subjected to a referendum, the annexation, if approved by the electors, shall become effective thirty days after such approval. The territory annexed is a part of the municipal corporation, and the inhabitants residing therein shall have all the rights and privileges, and shall be subject to the powers, of the municipal corporation as are the inhabitants within the original limits of such municipal corporation.

Cite as R.C. § 709.10

Effective Date: 03-18-1969

709.11 Territory situated in more than one county.

If the territory proposed for annexation under this chapter is situated in more than one county, the annexation proceedings shall be in the county in which the majority of acreage of the territory proposed for annexation is situated.

Cite as R.C. § 709.11

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.12 Apportioning of indebtedness of annexed territory - division of funds.

When proceedings have been commenced to annex a portion of a township, or portions of more than one township, to a municipal corporation upon which the tax levies made by the board of township trustees for the payment of the township debt do not apply, the county auditor shall ascertain and apportion the amount of existing net indebtedness of the township which shall be assumed and paid by the municipal corporation. The apportionment shall be made in the proportion of the total duplicate for the annexed territory transferred to the municipal corporation to the total tax duplicate remaining in and for the unannexed portion of the township. The auditor shall ascertain, adjust, and divide between the municipal corporation and the unannexed portion of the township any unencumbered balance on hand to the credit of any fund of such township, in the same proportion as is provided in this section for the division and apportionment of indebtedness. No division shall be made of a balance in any fund of a township that is required for the retirement of its indebtedness. In case any net indebtedness is assumed by the municipal corporation as provided in this section, the legislative authority of such municipal corporation shall provide for the payment of such indebtedness by the levy of taxes therefor, or by the appropriation from an appropriate fund. The proceeds of such levy or appropriation shall be transferred to the proper authorities of the township for the final redemption of its indebtedness.

Cite as R.C. § 709.12

Effective Date: 12-01-1967

709.13 Annexation of territory upon action by inhabitants generally.

The inhabitants, generally, of a municipal corporation may enlarge the limits of the municipal corporation by the annexation of contiguous territory in the manner provided by sections 709.14 to 709.16 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 709.13

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.14 Preliminary action by legislative authority.

The legislative authority of a municipal corporation that proposes to annex contiguous territory shall pass, by a vote of not less than a majority of the members elected to the legislative authority, an ordinance authorizing the annexation to be made and directing the village solicitor or city director of law of the municipal corporation, or someone to be named in the ordinance, to prosecute the proceedings necessary to effect it.

Cite as R.C. § 709.14

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.15 Petition to board of county commissioners.

The application of a municipal corporation to the board of county commissioners requesting the annexation of contiguous territory under section 709.16 of the Revised Code shall be by a petition setting forth that, under an ordinance of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation, the territory described in the petition was authorized to be annexed to the municipal corporation. The petition shall contain an accurate legal description of the perimeter and shall be accompanied by an accurate map or plat of the territory proposed for annexation.

Cite as R.C. § 709.15

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.16 Petition by municipal corporation for annexation.

(A) A municipal corporation may petition the board of county commissioners to annex contiguous territory owned only by the municipal corporation, a county, or the state. The clerk of the board shall cause the petition to be entered upon the board's journal at its next regular session. This entry shall be the first official act of the board upon the petition. Proceedings on the petition shall be conducted under this section to the exclusion of any other provisions of this chapter except for sections 709.014 , 709.14 , 709.15 , 709.20 , and 709.21 of the Revised Code.

(B) If the only territory to be annexed is contiguous territory owned by a municipal corporation, the board of county commissioners, by resolution, shall grant the annexation. The annexation shall be complete upon the entry upon the journal of the board of the resolution granting the annexation.

(C) If the only territory to be annexed is contiguous territory owned by a county, the board of county commissioners, by resolution, may grant or deny the annexation. The annexation shall be complete upon the entry upon the journal of the board of a resolution granting the annexation.

(D) If the only territory to be annexed is contiguous territory owned by the state and the director of administrative services has filed a written consent to the granting of the annexation with the board of county commissioners, the board, by resolution, shall grant the annexation. The annexation shall be complete upon the entry upon the journal of the board of a resolution granting the annexation.

(E) The board of county commissioners shall act upon a petition for annexation filed under this section within thirty days after receipt of the petition.

(F) No appeal in law or in equity shall be allowed from the granting of an annexation under this section.

(G) When a municipal corporation purchases real property below an appraised fair market value and sells or agrees to sell the property back to the person that sold it to the municipal corporation, an annexation of that property completed under this section shall be void, and the annexed property shall become part of the township from which it was annexed, if it still exists. If the township no longer exists, the board of county commissioners shall attach the annexed territory to another township.

(H) Territory annexed under this section shall not be excluded from the township under section 503.07 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 709.16

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.17, 709.18 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 709.17, 709.18

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.19 Compensating township for lost tax revenue.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "International airport" means any airport that is:

(a) Designated as an international airport or a landing rights airport by the United States secretary of the treasury;

(b) Owned and operated by a municipal corporation;

(c) An unincorporated area not contiguous to the municipal corporation that owns it.

(2) "Commercial," "industrial," "residential," and "retail," in relation to property, mean property classified as such by the tax commissioner for the purposes of valuing property for taxation, except that "commercial," in relation to property, does not include any property classified as "retail."

(B) If unincorporated territory is annexed to a municipal corporation and excluded from a township under section 503.07 of the Revised Code, upon exclusion of that territory, the municipal corporation that annexed the territory shall make payments to the township from which the territory was annexed only as provided in this section, except that, if the legislative authority of the municipal corporation enters into an agreement under section 701.07 , 709.191 , or 709.192 of the Revised Code with the township from which the territory was annexed that makes alternate provisions regarding payments by the municipal corporation, then the payment provisions in that agreement shall apply in lieu of the provisions of this section.

(C)

(1) Except as provided in division (C)(2) of this section, the municipal corporation that annexed the territory shall make the following payments to the township from which the territory was annexed with respect to commercial and industrial real, personal, and public utility property taxes using the property valuation for the year that the payment is due:

(a) In the first through third years following the annexation and exclusion of the territory from the township, eighty per cent of the township taxes in the annexed territory that would have been due the township for commercial and industrial real, personal, and public utility property taxes if no annexation had occurred;

(b) In the fourth and fifth years following the annexation and the exclusion of the territory from the township, sixty-seven and one-half per cent of the township taxes in the annexed territory that would have been due the township for commercial and industrial real, personal, and public utility property taxes if no annexation had occurred;

(c) In the sixth and seventh years following the annexation and exclusion of the territory from the township, sixty-two and one-half per cent of the township taxes in the annexed territory that would have been due the township for commercial and industrial real, personal, and public utility property taxes if no annexation had occurred;

(d) In the eighth and ninth years following the annexation and exclusion of the territory from the township, fifty-seven and one-half per cent of the township taxes in the annexed territory that would have been due the township for commercial and industrial real, personal, and public utility property taxes if no annexation had occurred;

(e) In the tenth through twelfth years following the annexation and exclusion of the territory from the township, forty-two and one-half per cent of the township taxes in the annexed territory that would have been due the township for commercial and industrial real, personal, and public utility property taxes if no annexation had occurred.

(2) If there has been an exemption by the municipal corporation of commercial and industrial real, personal, or public utility property taxes pursuant to section 725.02 , 1728.10 , 3735.67 , 5709.40 , 5709.41 , 5709.62 , or 5709.88 of the Revised Code, there shall be no reduction in the payments owed to the township due to that exemption. The municipal corporation shall make payments to the township under division (C)(1) of this section, calculated as if the exemption had not occurred.

(D) The municipal corporation that annexed the territory shall make the following payments to the township from which the territory was annexed with respect to residential and retail real property taxes using the property valuation for the year that the payment is due:

(1) In the first through third years following the annexation and exclusion of the territory from the township, eighty per cent of the township taxes in the annexed territory that would have been due the township for residential and retail real property taxes if no annexation had occurred;

(2) In the fourth and fifth years following the annexation and exclusion of the territory from the township, fifty-two and one-half per cent of the township taxes in the annexed territory that would have been due the township for residential and retail real property taxes if no annexation had occurred;

(3) In the sixth through tenth years following the annexation and exclusion of the territory from the township, forty per cent of the township taxes in the annexed territory that would have been due the township for residential and retail real property taxes if no annexation had occurred;

(4) In the eleventh and twelfth years following the annexation and exclusion of the territory from the township, twenty-seven and one-half per cent of the township taxes in the annexed territory that would have been due the township for residential and retail real property taxes if no annexation had occurred.

(E) If, pursuant to division (F) of this section, a municipal corporation annexes an international airport that it owns, the municipal corporation shall pay the township one hundred per cent of the township taxes in the annexed territory that would have been due the township if no annexation had occurred for each of the twenty-five years following the annexation.

(F)

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a board of county commissioners may authorize a municipal corporation to annex an international airport that the municipal corporation owns. Unless a contract is entered into pursuant to division (F)(2) of this section, any municipal corporation that annexes an international airport under this division shall make payments to the township from which the international airport is annexed, in the manner provided in division (E) of this section. No territory annexed pursuant to this division shall be considered part of the municipal corporation for the purposes of subsequent annexation, except that the board of county commissioners may authorize subsequent annexation under this division if the board determines that subsequent annexation is necessary to the continued operation of the international airport.

(2) The chief executive of a municipal corporation that annexes territory pursuant to this division may enter into a contract with the board of township trustees of the township that loses the territory whereby the township agrees to provide the annexed territory with police, fire, or other services it is authorized to provide in exchange for specified consideration as agreed upon by the board of township trustees and the chief executive. In no instance shall the consideration received by the township be less than the payments that would be required under division (F)(1) of this section if no contract were entered into.

Cite as R.C. § 709.19

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.191 Annual payments to compensate for lost tax revenue.

In lieu of making any of the payments required by section 709.19 of the Revised Code and for any proposed annexation which does not require payments under that section, the legislative authority of a municipal corporation which proposes to annex unincorporated territory of a township may enter into an agreement with the board of township trustees of the township in which the territory to be annexed is located, whereby the municipal corporation agrees to make an annual payment to the township to compensate for lost tax revenues. The agreement shall set forth the amount of the annual payment and the number of payments to be made.

If a municipal corporation fails to make an annual payment pursuant to an agreement entered into under this section, the board of township trustees shall notify the county budget commission in writing of the amount owed by the municipal corporation to the township. The county budget commission shall reduce the amount apportioned to the municipal corporation from the undivided local government fund pursuant to section 5747.51 or 5747.53 of the Revised Code by the amount of the payment due the township under the municipal- township agreement and shall increase, by an amount equal to this reduction, the amount apportioned to the township from the undivided local government fund.

Cite as R.C. § 709.191

Effective Date: 02-02-1982

709.192 Annexation agreements.

(A) The legislative authority of one municipal corporation, by ordinance or resolution, and the board of township trustees of one or more townships, by resolution, may enter into annexation agreements under this section.

(B) An annexation agreement may be entered into for any period of time and may be amended at any time in the same manner as it was initially authorized.

(C) Annexation agreements may provide for any of the following:

(1) The territory to be annexed;

(2) Any periods of time during which no annexations will be made and any areas that will not be annexed;

(3) Land use planning matters;

(4) The provision of joint services and permanent improvements within incorporated or unincorporated areas;

(5) The provision of services and improvements by a municipal corporation in the unincorporated areas;

(6) The provision of services and improvements by a township within the territory of a municipal corporation;

(7) The payment of service fees to a municipal corporation by a township;

(8) The payment of service fees to a township by a municipal corporation;

(9) The reallocation of the minimum mandated levies established pursuant to section 5705.31 of the Revised Code between a municipal corporation and a township in areas annexed after the effective date of this section;

(10) The issuance of notes and bonds and other debt obligations by a municipal corporation or township for public purposes authorized by or under an annexation agreement and provision for the allocation of the payment of the principal of, interest on, and other charges and costs of issuing and servicing the repayment of the debt;

(11) Agreements by a municipal corporation and township, with owners or developers of land to be annexed, or with both those landowners and land developers, concerning the provision of public services, facilities, and permanent improvements;

(12) The application of tax abatement statutes within the territory covered by the annexation agreement subsequent to its execution;

(13) Changing township boundaries under Chapter 503. of the Revised Code to exclude newly annexed territory from the original township and providing services to that territory;

(14) Payments in lieu of taxes, if any, to be paid to a township by a municipal corporation, which payments may be in addition to or in lieu of other payments required by law to be made to the township by that municipal corporation;

(15) Any other matter pertaining to the annexation or development of publicly or privately owned territory.

(D) Annexation agreements shall not be in derogation of the powers granted to municipal corporations by Article XVIII, Ohio Constitution, by any other provisions of the Ohio Constitution, or by the provisions of a municipal charter, nor shall municipal corporations and townships agree to share proceeds of any tax levy, although those proceeds may be used to make payments authorized in an annexation agreement.

(E) If any party to an annexation agreement believes another party has failed to perform its part of any provision of that agreement, including the failure to make any payment of moneys due under the agreement, that party shall give notice to the other party clearly stating what breach has occurred. The party receiving the notice has ninety days from the receipt of that notice to cure the breach. If the breach has not been cured within that ninety-day period, the party that sent the notice may sue for recovery of the money due under the agreement, sue for specific enforcement of the agreement, or terminate the agreement upon giving notice of termination to all the other parties.

(F) In order to promote economic development or to provide appropriate state functions and services to any part of the state, the state may become a party to an annexation agreement upon the approval of the director of development and with the written consent of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation and each of the boards of township trustees that are parties to the agreement.

(G) The board of county commissioners, by resolution, or any person, upon request, may become a party to an annexation agreement, but only upon the approval of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation and each of the boards of township trustees that are parties to the agreement, except that, if the state is a party to the agreement, the director of development is responsible for giving the approval.

(H) The powers granted by this section and any annexation agreement entered into under this section shall be liberally construed to allow parties to these agreements to carry out the agreements' provisions relevant to government improvements, facilities, and services, and to promote and support economic development and the creation and preservation of economic opportunities.

Cite as R.C. § 709.192

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.20 Rights when annexation complete.

When the annexation of the territory described in the petition mentioned in section 709.15 of the Revised Code has been completed, such territory is a part of the annexing municipal corporation, and the inhabitants residing in the territory shall have all the rights and privileges of the inhabitants residing within the original limits of such municipal corporation.

Cite as R.C. § 709.20

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.21 Errors not fatal to proceedings.

No error, irregularity, or defect in the proceedings under sections 709.01 to 709.20 of the Revised Code shall render them invalid once annexation has become final and the annexed territory has been recognized as a part of the annexing municipal corporation, taxes levied upon it as such have been paid, and it has been subjected to the authority of the legislative authority of the annexing municipal corporation.

Cite as R.C. § 709.21

Effective Date: 10-26-2001

709.22 Annexation of territory of one municipal corporation to a contiguous municipal corporation.

Territory of a municipal corporation may be annexed to that of a contiguous municipal corporation in the manner provided in sections 709.23 to 709.34 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 709.22

Effective Date: 06-13-1975

709.23 Arrangement of conditions of annexation.

The legislative authority of any municipal corporation may propose annexation of its territory to that of any contiguous municipal corporation, and it shall thereupon pass an ordinance declaring its desire to be annexed and shall appoint three commissioners to represent it in such negotiations and to arrange the conditions of annexation.

Cite as R.C. § 709.23

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.24 Petition for annexation - appointment of commission.

If there is presented to the legislative authority of a municipal corporation proposed to be annexed to an adjoining or contiguous municipal corporation, a petition signed by resident electors, who voted at the last regular municipal election, numbering not less than twenty-five per cent of the number of electors who voted in such election in the territory proposed to be annexed, representing their desire that such legislative authority take the necessary steps to select and appoint three commissioners to represent such municipal corporation in annexation proceedings, and if such petition is accompanied by a certificate verified on belief by oath, from the clerk of the board of elections of the county in which the municipal corporation is located, to the effect that the petition does contain the names of resident electors who voted at the last regular municipal election, of a number not less than twenty-five per cent of those who voted at such election, the legislative authority shall, within thirty days after the presentation of such petition, pass an ordinance declaring its intention to enter into negotiations with the municipal corporation with which annexation is proposed and shall appoint the three commissioners to represent it in such negotiations.

Cite as R.C. § 709.24

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.25 Ordinance or petition - procedure.

The ordinance provided for in section 709.23 of the Revised Code, or the petition provided for in section 709.24 of the Revised Code, shall specify whether annexation is desired for corporate municipal purposes only, or for such purposes and for school purposes. In case annexation is desired both for corporate municipal purposes and for school purposes, such questions shall be submitted separately, but may be printed upon the same ballot. The legislative authorities in both municipal corporations in such case shall certify a copy of such ordinance or petition to the board of education of their respective municipal corporations, each of which shall, within thirty days, appoint three commissioners who shall meet forthwith and, within fifteen days, negotiate the terms of annexation for school purposes and certify such terms to their respective boards of education. Such boards shall, by resolution, submit the question of annexing such school district in the manner provided by law.

Such question as to annexation for school purposes shall be submitted to the electors of the respective school districts in which such municipal corporations are situated, irrespective of deviations of school district boundaries from those of the affected municipal corporations.

Cite as R.C. § 709.25

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.26 Designation of commissioners for negotiation.

Upon the passage of the ordinance provided for in section 709.23 of the Revised Code, the clerk of the legislative authority passing such an ordinance shall submit a certified copy of it to the legislative authority of the municipal corporation with which annexation is proposed, and within thirty days after the receipt of such certified copy the legislative authority of the municipal corporation with which annexation is proposed may pass an ordinance designating three commissioners to represent it in such negotiations.

Cite as R.C. § 709.26

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.27 Procedure on failure of legislative authority to designate commissioners.

If, within thirty days after receipt of a certified copy of an ordinance from a municipal corporation proposing annexation designating its three commissioners, the legislative authority of the municipal corporation with which annexation is proposed fails to pass an ordinance designating three commissioners to represent it in such negotiations, then, on receipt of a petition signed by resident electors of a number not less than twenty-five per cent of the number of electors voting at the last previous regular municipal election of the municipal corporation with which annexation is proposed, petitioning the legislative authority thereof to take such action as is necessary to initiate such proceedings and to appoint three commissioners to represent it therein, the legislative authority shall pass an ordinance appointing such commissioners.

Cite as R.C. § 709.27

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.28 Conditions of annexation.

The commissioners appointed by the respective municipal corporations proposing annexation pursuant to sections 709.23 to 709.33 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, shall proceed to arrange the conditions of annexation and report the result of their action to the legislative authorities of their respective municipal corporations within one hundred twenty days from the date of the appointment of the commissioners of the municipal corporation with which annexation is proposed.

If such commissioners are unable to agree upon the conditions of annexation within such time, the probate judge of the county on which the municipal corporations are situated shall appoint one additional commissioner, who shall not be a resident of either of such municipal corporations. The additional commissioner shall act with the other commissioners appointed as provided by such sections, in arranging conditions of such annexation, and the conclusions arrived at and agreed upon by any four of such commissioners shall be the conditions upon which said annexation shall be submitted to the voters of such municipal corporations, and the findings thus arrived at shall be reported by the commissioners to the legislative authority of each of such municipal corporations.

Cite as R.C. § 709.28

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.29 Submission of question of annexation to a vote - procedure.

Within thirty days after filing the conditions of annexation as provided by section 709.28 of the Revised Code with the legislative authorities of the municipal corporations, the legislative authorities of both such municipal corporations shall order the question of annexation, upon the conditions contained in the report of such commissioners, to be submitted to a vote at the next regular election or primary election, occurring not less than ninety days after the filing of such conditions with the board of elections.

Each ordinance shall prescribe the manner in which the submission shall be made and shall be published in its respective municipal corporation by posters or otherwise, for a period of at least twenty days, prior to the time fixed for the election, in such manner as the legislative authority deems most expedient, and a printed copy of such conditions shall be mailed to each voter of such municipal corporations, as shown by the registration books.

Cite as R.C. § 709.29

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

Effective Date: 03-23-1981

709.30 Assent to annexation - election.

The legislative authority of a city to which the annexation of another city or village or part thereof is sought as provided in sections 709.22 to 709.29 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, may by ordinance, and the board of education of a city school district to which the annexation of another city school district, exempted village school district, or local school district containing a village is sought as provided in such sections may by resolution, assent to such annexation and waive the submission of such question to the electors of the city or district to which such annexation is proposed. If, within thirty days of the passage or adoption of such ordinance or resolution, a petition, signed by twenty-five per cent of the voters of such district or city, is filed requesting that such election be held, such waiver shall be of no effect, and provision shall be made for the holding of such election as provided in section 709.29 of the Revised Code. Such petition shall be filed with the board of elections, and upon finding such a petition sufficient such board of elections shall notify the legislative authority or board of education affected thereby, and shall prepare to conduct such election.

Cite as R.C. § 709.30

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.31 Election results certified.

If a majority of the electors of each municipal corporation, voting on the question submitted under section 709.29 of the Revised Code, are in favor of annexation, the board of elections shall thereupon certify the results of the election in each municipal corporation to the legislative authorities of both municipal corporations.

Cite as R.C. § 709.31

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.32 Clerk of municipal corporation to certify transcripts.

Under the direction of the municipal corporation to which territory is proposed to be annexed, the auditor or clerk thereof shall make and certify two transcripts of all the ordinances, abstracts of the returns of the votes, and other papers relating to annexation, one of which shall be filed in the official records of the county recorder, and the other shall be forwarded to the secretary of state.

Cite as R.C. § 709.32

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

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.33 Effective date of annexation.

When the transcripts of annexation proceedings are certified as provided in section 709.32 of the Revised Code, and after one of them is delivered to the county recorder and the other forwarded to the secretary of state, the annexation shall be complete and the conditions of annexation shall thereupon become operative. The municipal corporation to which the annexation is made shall pass such ordinances as will carry into effect the conditions of annexation.

Cite as R.C. § 709.33

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.34 Government of the municipal corporations.

When the annexation of a municipal corporation under sections 709.23 to 709.33 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, is completed, the two former municipal corporations shall be governed as one, embracing the territory of both, and the inhabitants of all such territory shall have equal rights and privileges, subject to the conditions of annexation. The annexation shall not affect any rights or liabilities existing at the time of annexation, either in favor of or against such municipal corporations, except such as are affected by the conditions of annexation. Actions founded on such rights and privileges may be commenced, and pending actions prosecuted to final judgment and execution, as though the annexation had not taken place.

Cite as R.C. § 709.34

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.35, 709.36 [Repealed].

Cite as R.C. § 709.35, 709.36

Effective Date: 12-19-1973

709.37 Adjustment of boundaries of adjoining municipal corporations by mutual consent.

Any two adjoining municipal corporations may, by ordinance of their respective legislative authorities, agree to a change in the boundary line separating such municipal corporations, provided such change does not involve the transfer of territory, inhabited by more than five voters, from one to the other or from each to the other. The ordinances setting forth such agreement shall be certified to the board of county commissioners. Upon receipt of such certified ordinances, the board shall proceed by resolution to approve such change of boundary and to make such adjustment of funds, unpaid taxes, claims, indebtedness, and other fiscal matters as the board determines to be proper. Transcripts of the ordinances, agreement, and resolution certified by the board shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state and shall also be filed and recorded in the office of the county recorder. All fees and costs for such filing and recording shall be assumed and paid by such municipal corporations in such proportions as the board determines.

Cite as R.C. § 709.37

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.38 Petition for detachment of lands and attachment to contiguous township - may form new township.

Upon petition of a majority of the freehold electors owning lands in any portion of the territory of a municipal corporation, or, if no freehold electors own land therein, upon petition of a majority of the owners of lands therein, accurately described in such petition with an accurate map or plat thereof, praying to have such portion of territory detached therefrom, the board of county commissioners, with the assent of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation given in an ordinance passed for the purpose, shall detach such portion of the territory therefrom and attach it to any township contiguous thereto, or, if the petition so requests, such board shall erect the territory into a new township, the boundaries of which need not include twenty-two square miles of territory.

Before any such territory is attached or detached, under this section, the following requirements shall be met:

(A) The board shall:

(1) Ascertain and apportion the amount of existing indebtedness of the municipal corporation from which the detachment is made, which indebtedness shall be assumed and paid by the township contiguous thereto and to which the territory is attached, or by the new township, if a new township is erected, or by the corporate successors of such township, and such apportionment shall be made in proportion to the tax duplicate for the detached territory transferred to a contiguous township erected into a new township to the total tax duplicate for the remaining portion of the municipal corporation from which the detachment is made;

(2) Ascertain, adjust, and divide between the contiguous township or the new township, if a new township is erected, and the remaining portion of the municipal corporation all moneys and other credits belonging to such municipal corporation in the same proportion as is provided in this section for division and apportionment of any indebtedness;

(3) Order the amount so adjusted and divided to be paid or delivered by the parties in possession thereof to the proper officers of the contiguous township or new township and to the remaining portion of the municipal corporation.

(B) After such apportionment is made each section of the original territory by which the indebtedness was incurred shall be primarily liable for the portion of the indebtedness so apportioned.

(C) In the issuing of bonds under Chapter 133. of the Revised Code, and in arriving at the limitations imposed in such sections, only the portion of the indebtedness apportioned to each section of territory shall be counted as the net indebtedness.

(D) The petition, map, ordinance, and the order of the board, certified by the county auditor, shall be recorded in the official records in the office of the county recorder, and as soon as such record is made the proceedings shall be complete, both as to the detaching of such territory from the municipal corporation and the annexation thereof to the township or the erection of the territory into the new township, and as to the apportionment of the indebtedness.

(E) Wherever territory has been detached from a municipal corporation and attached to a township or created into a new township, the board of township trustees of such township, or, if such township has become a municipal corporation or been annexed to any municipal corporation, the legislative authority of the corporate successor of the township may, by ordinance, duly passed, contract, through its proper officers, with the municipal corporation from which the detachment was originally made, to apportion the indebtedness of the original territory in the manner provided in this section. Such a contract shall be made by ordinance or resolution, duly passed by the legislative authority of the municipal corporation or board of township trustees, and the effect of the contract shall be the same as if such apportionment was originally made by the board of county commissioners, as provided by this section.

Cite as R.C. § 709.38

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

Effective Date: 10-30-1989

709.39 Petition to submit question of detachment of territory - election.

The freehold electors owning lands in any portion of a village, such portion being contiguous to an adjoining township, and comprising not less than one thousand five hundred acres of land, may file a petition with the board of elections in such county requesting that an election be held to obtain the opinion of the freehold electors owning lands and residing within such portion of the village upon the question of the detachment of the portion from such village, or, upon the question of the detachment of such portion from the village and the erection of such detached portion into a new township. Such petition shall contain:

(A) An accurate description of the territory sought to be detached;

(B) An accurate map or plat thereof;

(C) If the erection of a new township is also sought, the name proposed for such new township;

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

(E) Signatures equal in number to fifteen per cent of the total number of votes cast at the last general election in such territory.

Within ten days after the filing of such petition with the board, the board shall determine whether the petition conforms to this section. If it does not conform, no further action shall be taken thereon. If it does conform, the board shall order an election, as prayed for in the petition, which election shall be held at a convenient place within the territory sought to be detached, on a day named by the board, which day shall be not less than ninety days thereafter. The board shall thereupon give ten days' notice of such election by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such territory, and shall cause written or printed notices thereof to be posted in three or more public places in such territory. The election shall be conducted in the manner provided in Title XXXV of the Revised Code, and the judges and clerks thereof shall be designated by such board.

If no freehold electors own lands in the portion of the village seeking to be detached, the owners of lands within that portion may file a petition with the board of county commissioners requesting that the board proceed with the detachment procedures, or with procedures for the detachment and erection of the portion of the village into a new township, pursuant to section 709.38 of the Revised Code. The petition shall contain the items required in divisions (A), (B), and (D) of this section, and signatures equal in number to at least a majority of the owners of land within the portion of the village seeking to be detached.

The ballots shall contain the words "for detachment," and "against detachment." If a majority of the ballots cast at such election are cast against detachment, no further proceedings shall be had in relation thereto for a period of two years. If a majority of the votes cast at such election are cast for detachment, the result of such election, together with the original petition and plat and a transcript of all the proceedings of such board in reference thereto shall be certified by the board and delivered to the county recorder, who shall record in the official records the petition and plat and transcript of all the proceedings of the board and the result of the election. After having made such record, the county recorder shall certify and forward to the secretary of state, a transcript thereof.

The detachment of such territory from the village shall thereupon be complete, and, if the petition included a request that such territory be erected into a new township, the territory shall thereupon constitute a new township, under the name and style specified in such petition. All expense involved in holding such election, and in the filing, recording, and transcribing of the records, provided for in this section, shall be defrayed by the petitioners, and the board and the county recorder may require the payment thereof in advance as a condition precedent to the taking by them, or either of them, of any action provided for in this section.

Cite as R.C. § 709.39

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

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

Effective Date: 03-23-1981

709.40 Apportionment of property, funds, and indebtedness.

When territory is detached from a village in accordance with section 709.39 of the Revised Code, an apportionment of the property, funds, and indebtedness of the village shall be made between such village and the detached territory upon the basis of the respective tax duplicates in the village after such detachment and in the detached territory. All water pipes and sewers, laid either in such village or detached territory, shall be considered as property within the meaning of that term, as used in this section, in so far as such water pipes or sewers have been paid for out of the general funds of the village. If the village authorities and the public authorities in control of the detached territory are unable to agree upon such apportionment, it shall be made by the probate court, upon application by the authorities of either the village or the detached territory.

Cite as R.C. § 709.40

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.41 Petition for detachment of farm land.

The owner of unplatted farm lands, annexed to any municipal corporation after the incorporation thereof, may file a petition in the court of common pleas of the county in which the lands are situated, in which such owner shall be named as plaintiff, and the municipal corporation shall be the defendant, setting forth the reasons why the land should be detached, and the relief prayed for. A summons shall issue on such petition as in other actions, and the case shall proceed as in other causes.

No such action shall be brought, or detachment ordered or decreed, within five years from the time that such lands were annexed by any such municipal corporation under sections 707.01 to 707.30 , inclusive, and sections 709.01 to 709.42 , inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 709.41

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.42 Hearing - decision.

If, upon the hearing of a cause of action as provided by section 709.41 of the Revised Code, the court of common pleas finds that the lands are farm lands, and are not within the original limits of the municipal corporation, that by reason of the same being or remaining within the municipal corporation the owner thereof is taxed and will continue to be taxed thereon for municipal purposes in substantial excess of the benefits conferred by reason of such lands being within the municipal corporation, and that said lands may be detached without materially affecting the best interests or good government of such municipal corporation or of the territory therein adjacent to that sought to be detached; then an order and decree may be made by the court, and entered on the record, that the lands be detached from the municipal corporation and be attached to the most convenient adjacent township in the same county. Thereafter the lands shall not be a part of the municipal corporation but shall be a part of the township to which they have been so attached. The costs shall be taxed as may seem right to the court.

Cite as R.C. § 709.42

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

709.43 Merger defined.

As used in sections 709.43 to 709.48 of the Revised Code, "merger" means the annexation, one to another, of existing municipal corporations or of the unincorporated area of a township with one or more municipal corporations, or the merger of one or more municipal corporations with the unincorporated area of a township.

Cite as R.C. § 709.43

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 09-29-1994

709.44 Territory that nay be merged.

The territory of one or more municipal corporations, whether or not adjacent to one another, may be merged with that of an adjacent municipal corporation, and the unincorporated area of a township may be merged with one or more municipal corporations, or one or more municipal corporations, whether or not adjacent to one another, may be merged with that of an adjacent unincorporated area of a township, in the manner provided in sections 709.43 to 709.48 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 709.44

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 09-29-1994

709.45 Petition for merger.

(A) A petition may be filed with the board of elections proposing that one or more municipal corporations be merged with another municipal corporation, or that the unincorporated area of a township be merged with one or more municipal corporations, as provided by section 709.44 of the Revised Code. The petition may be presented in separate petition papers. Each petition paper shall contain, in concise language, the purpose of the petition and the names of not less than five electors of each affected municipal corporation, or the names of not less than five electors of the unincorporated area of the township and the names of not less than five electors of each affected municipal corporation, to be nominated to serve as commissioners. The petition shall be governed by the rules of section 3501.38 of the Revised Code. The petition shall contain signatures of electors of each municipal corporation or of each municipal corporation and the unincorporated area of the township proposed to be merged and signatures of electors of the municipal corporation with which merger is proposed, numbering not less than ten per cent of the number of electors residing in each such political subdivision who voted for the office of governor at the most recent general election for that office.

(B) The petition shall be filed with the board of elections of the county in which the largest portion of the population of the municipal corporation with which merger is proposed resides. The board of elections shall cause the validity of all signatures to be ascertained and, in doing so, may require the assistance of boards of elections of other counties as the case requires. If the petition is sufficient, the board of elections of the county in which the petition is required to be filed shall submit the question: "Shall a commission be chosen to draw up a statement of conditions for merger of the political subdivisions of ........., ..........., and ...........?" for the approval or rejection of the electors of each political subdivision proposed to be merged and the electors of the municipal corporation to which merger is proposed at the next general election, in any year, occurring subsequent to the period ending ninety days after the filing of the petition with the board. Provision shall be made on the ballot for the election, from each of the component political subdivisions, of five electors who shall constitute the commission to draw up the statement of conditions for merger of the political subdivisions. If any of the political subdivisions for which merger is proposed are located wholly or partially in a county other than the one in which the petition is required to be filed, the board of elections of the county in which the petition is filed shall, if the petition is found to be sufficient, certify the sufficiency of the petition and the statement of the issue to be voted on to the boards of elections of those other counties; the boards of elections of those other counties shall submit the question of merging and the names of candidates to be elected to the commission to draw up the statement of conditions for merger, for the approval or rejection of the electors in the portions of those political subdivisions within their respective counties; and, upon the holding of the election, the boards of elections of those other counties shall certify the election results to the board of elections of the county in which the petition is required to be filed.

(C) In addition to the filing of the petition with the board of elections as provided in division (B) of this section, a copy of the petition shall be filed with the legislative authority of each affected municipal corporation and, if applicable, the board of township trustees of the affected township. At a public meeting scheduled not less than thirty days before the date of the election at which the question of merging goes before the electors, each of those legislative authorities and, if applicable, the board of township trustees shall state and explain their position on the proposed merger.

Cite as R.C. § 709.45

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

Effective Date: 08-22-1995; 04-07-2005

709.451 Merger in lieu of petition.

(A) In lieu of filing a petition under section 709.45 of the Revised Code, if the legislative authorities of each political subdivision that may be merged as provided in section 709.44 of the Revised Code agree to a merger and adopt, by a two-thirds vote of each legislative authority, an ordinance or resolution proposing a merger, no election of a commission to draw up a statement of conditions for merger of the political subdivisions shall be held. Instead, the legislative authorities of those political subdivisions shall have one hundred twenty days to enter into a merger agreement that specifies the conditions of the proposed merger, in identical ordinances or a resolution adopted by a simple majority vote of each legislative authority. At a minimum, the proposed merger agreement shall include all of the following:

(1) The names of the municipal corporations and township, if any, proposing the merger;

(2) The territorial boundaries of the resulting municipal corporation or township;

(3) The date that the proposed merger will take effect;

(4) A procedure for the efficient and timely transition to the resulting municipal corporation or township of specified services, functions, and responsibilities from each municipal corporation or township and its respective departments and agencies;

(5) A transition plan and schedule.

(B) The merger shall take effect as provided in division (C) of section 709.452 of the Revised Code. On the effective date of the merger, a municipal corporation merging into a township only has the rights, powers, and responsibilities afforded by law to townships, and all other authority ceases to exist.

Cite as R.C. § 709.451

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

709.452 Submission of question of merger to voters.

(A) The legislative authority of each municipal corporation or township proposed for merger as provided in section 709.44 of the Revised Code that adopts a merger agreement under section 709.451 of the Revised Code shall submit the question of merger to the electors of the municipal corporations and township proposed for merger. The legislative authorities shall certify the ordinances or resolution that adopted the merger agreement to the board or boards of elections, if the territory proposed for merger is located in more than one county, directing the submission of the question of merger to the electors of the municipal corporations and township proposed for merger at a special election to be held on the day of the next primary or general election in the county or counties that occurs not less than ninety days after the ordinances or resolution are certified to the board or boards of elections. The question shall be put on the ballot and voted upon, separately, in each municipal corporation or township proposed for merger.

(B) The ordinances or resolution specifying the merger conditions agreed to by the municipal corporations and township proposed for merger shall be posted on the web sites of those municipal corporations and township, and shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipal corporations and township once a week for two consecutive weeks prior to the election.

(C) If the merger is approved by a majority of those voting on it in each municipal corporation or township proposed to be merged, the merger and the merger agreement shall take immediate effect.

(D) If an existing charter of a municipal corporation proposed for merger under this section conflicts with the processes and procedures specified in this section, the processes and procedures for merger addressed in the municipal corporation's charter apply.

Cite as R.C. § 709.452

Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

709.46 Disapproval or approval of merger.

(A) If the question of merging one or more municipal corporations and the unincorporated area of a township, as provided in section 709.45 of the Revised Code, is disapproved by a majority of those voting on it in the township or a municipal corporation proposed to be merged or in the municipal corporation with which merger is proposed, no further petitions shall be filed under that section proposing the same merger for at least three years after the date of that disapproval.

If the question of merging is approved by a majority of those voting on it in each political subdivision proposed to be merged and in the municipal corporation with which merger is proposed, the five candidates from each of those political subdivisions shall be elected to the commission to formulate the conditions of merging the political subdivisions. The first meeting of the commission shall be held in the chamber of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation that has the smallest population or, in the case of a merger of the unincorporated area of a township and one or more municipal corporations, in the office of the board of township trustees, at nine a.m. on the tenth day after the certification of the election by the last of the respective boards of elections to make that certification, unless that day is a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, in which case the first meeting shall be held on the next day thereafter which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday.

The clerk of the municipal legislative authority or the fiscal officer of the board of township trustees in whose chamber or office the first meeting of the commission is held shall serve as temporary chairperson until permanent officers are elected. The commission shall elect its own permanent officers and shall proceed to meet as often as necessary to formulate conditions for merger that are satisfactory to a majority of the members of the commission from each political subdivision.

(B) In case of a vacancy on the commission, the vacancy shall be filled by an appointee of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation, or the board of township trustees of the township, that the prior commissioner represented. The person appointed to fill the vacancy shall be an elector of that political subdivision and, if the person is representing a township, shall reside in the unincorporated area of that township.

(C) The costs of the commission shall be divided among the participating political subdivisions in proportion to the population that each participating political subdivision bears to the total population of the territory proposed to be merged. For these purposes, a township's population shall be based solely upon the population of the unincorporated area of the township proposed to be merged. It shall be a proper public purpose for a municipal corporation or township to expend general fund moneys for these payments.

(D) All meetings of the commission shall be subject to the requirements of section 121.22 of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 709.46

Effective Date: 09-29-1994; 04-07-2005; 12-20-2005

709.461 Collaborative formulation of merger conditions - unincorporated areas.

(A) In formulating the proposed merger conditions, the commission shall attempt to work in a collaborative process that results in a consensus of its members as to the best proposal for all of the political subdivisions involved. To this end, the commission shall adopt rules for the orderly operation of commission meetings that permit all commission members to be coleaders, as appropriate, so that overall no one member has more authority than any of the other members in determining the proposed conditions. These rules may create a framework for building agreement among the members to adopt proposed conditions. The commission also shall seek the advice of both public and private sources to help the commission fully study the merger situation so that appropriate conditions are drafted. If funding permits, the commission may contract with a dispute resolution expert to help make the process more collaborative.

(B) When a merger proposal includes the unincorporated area of a township, the commission shall consider, among the other issues it considers before adopting its proposed merger conditions, both the increase and decrease of funding sources due to the unincorporated township territory becoming incorporated territory.

(C) The proposed merger conditions may provide for the election, prior to the merger, of new officers to govern the municipal corporation with which merger is proposed after the merger is complete, provided that the provision does not conflict with the charter of the municipal corporation with which merger is proposed. If more than one municipal corporation is to be included in the merger, the proposed conditions shall designate one of the municipal corporations as the municipal corporation into which the township and any other municipal corporations involved are being merged. The proposed conditions also may provide that the municipal corporation into which the other political subdivisions are to be merged shall amend its existing charter to include specified provisions and may state that the merger, if approved, shall not become effective until the date on which that municipal charter includes the required provisions. In the case of a merger of a township with a single municipal corporation, the merger conditions also may provide for the annexation of a school district located wholly within the township to the school district of the municipal corporation.

Cite as R.C. § 709.461

Effective Date: 04-07-2005

709.462 Vote on merger conditions - agreement by majority of subdivision members - term of commission.

(A) Once proposed merger conditions are prepared, the members of the commission shall vote on them.

(B) If no proposed merger condition can be agreed upon by a majority of the members of the commission from each political subdivision, the members of the commission may vote on whether the merger should not occur. If, in that situation, a majority of the members of the commission from each political subdivision votes against the merger, no further proceedings shall be had on the petition filed under section 709.45 of the Revised Code, and no further petitions shall be filed under that section proposing a merger of any or all of the political subdivisions that were the subjects of that petition for at least three years after the date of the commission's vote.

(C) If proposed merger conditions are agreed upon by a majority of the members of the commission from each political subdivision, the commission shall issue a report listing the conditions agreed to and the reasoning behind adopting each condition. In addition, after the next general election occurring after the election of the members of the commission, but not less than ninety days preceding the second general election occurring after the election of the members of the commission, the commission, unless it has ceased to exist under division (D) of this section, shall certify the fact of that agreement and a list of the agreed-to merger conditions to the board of elections of each of the counties in which the political subdivisions proposed for merger are located. The question of the approval or rejection of the merger conditions shall be submitted to the voters at that second general election occurring after the election of the members of the commission. The boards of elections shall submit the merger conditions for the approval or rejection of the electors in the portions of the political subdivisions within their respective counties, and, upon the holding of the election, each board of elections other than the board of the county in which the petition is required to be filed shall certify its results to the board of elections of the county in which the petition is required to be filed.

(D) Regardless of whether a merger commission succeeds in reaching an agreement, the commission shall cease to exist on the ninetieth day preceding the next general election occurring after the election of the members of the commission, unless the commission requests an extension of time from the legislative authority of each political subdivision involved and each of those legislative authorities approves the extension. This extension of time may be only until the ninetieth day preceding the second general election occurring after the election of the members of the commission. If the commission ceases to exist under this division, no further petitions shall be filed under section 709.45 of the Revised Code proposing a merger of any or all of the political subdivisions that were the subjects of the petition considered by the commission for at least three years after the date the commission ceases to exist.

Cite as R.C. § 709.462

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

Effective Date: 04-07-2005

709.47 Procedure after disapproval or approval.

(A) If merger conditions agreed upon by a merger commission of a township and one or more municipal corporations are disapproved by a majority of those voting on them in the township or a municipal corporation proposed to be merged or in the municipal corporation with which merger is proposed, no further petitions shall be filed under section 709.45 of the Revised Code proposing the merger of any of the territory within that proposed merger for at least three years after the date of that disapproval.

If merger conditions are approved by a majority of those voting on them in each political subdivision proposed to be merged and in the municipal corporation with which merger is proposed, the merger is effective on the first day of January of the year following the certification of the results of the election by the board of elections with which the petition is required to be filed, unless the conditions specify a different date, in which case the date specified is the effective date of merger. On and after the effective date, the territory of each political subdivision proposed to be merged is annexed to and included in the territory and corporate boundaries of the municipal corporation with which the merger is proposed. The form of government, ordinances, resolutions, and other rules of the municipal corporation with which merger is proposed apply throughout the newly included territories to the extent they are not in conflict with the conditions approved by the electors. The charter, if any, of the municipal corporation with which merger is proposed applies throughout the newly included territories. The corporate existence and the offices of the municipal corporations or of the township proposed to be merged terminate on that date.

(B) The municipal corporation with which merger is proposed succeeds to the following interests of each political subdivision proposed to be merged in:

(1) All moneys, taxes, and special assessments, whether the moneys, taxes, or special assessments are in the treasury or in the process of collection;

(2) All property and interests in property, whether real or personal;

(3) All rights and interests in contracts or in securities, bonds, notes, or other instruments;

(4) All accounts receivable and rights of action;

(5) All other matters not included in divisions (B)(1) to (4) of this section.

(C) On and after the merger's effective date, the municipal corporation with which merger is proposed is liable for all outstanding franchises, contracts, debts, and other legal claims, actions, and obligations of the political subdivisions proposed to be merged.

(D) When a merger proposal includes the unincorporated area of a township, the board of county commissioners of the county in which the unincorporated area is located and the legislative authority of the municipal corporation with which merger is proposed shall negotiate an agreement requiring the county to continue providing within the unincorporated area for a determined period of time after the merger's effective date the county services it was providing within the unincorporated area on the day prior to the merger's effective date. During the negotiation process, each of the following shall occur:

(1) Before the merger's effective date, the board of county commissioners and the legislative authority of the municipal corporation shall each create a proposed transition plan that addresses, among other potential issues for agreement between the county and the municipal corporation, the following:

(a) The period of time the county will continue to provide the county services to the unincorporated area and the date upon which the municipal corporation will succeed to the county's responsibility of providing those services;

(b) Payment by the municipal corporation to the county for the continued provision of the county services to the unincorporated area during that period of time.

(2) On the merger's effective date, the board of county commissioners and the legislative authority of the municipal corporation shall exchange their proposed transition plans.

(3) Within thirty days after the merger's effective date, the board of county commissioners and the legislative authority of the municipal corporation shall meet to discuss the proposed transition plans and the creation of a compromise transition plan that addresses, among other potential issues for agreement between the county and municipal corporation, the issues listed in division (D)(1) of this section.

(4) Within sixty days after the date of the meeting between the board of county commissioners and the legislative authority of the municipal corporation under division (D)(3) of this section, the board and the legislative authority shall agree upon a compromise transition plan.

Cite as R.C. § 709.47

Effective Date: 09-29-1994; 04-07-2005

709.48 No petitions for annexation after merger defeated.

On and after the date on which a petition is filed with the board of elections under section 709.45 of the Revised Code for the election of a merger commission for the merger of one or more municipal corporations and the unincorporated territory of a township, no petition for the annexation of any part of the unincorporated territory of the township shall be filed with a board of county commissioners under section 709.03 or 709.15 of the Revised Code, until one of the following occurs:

(A) The question of forming a merger commission is defeated at the election provided for under section 709.45 of the Revised Code by a majority of the electors of any one of the municipal corporations or the unincorporated territory of the township in which the election is held.

(B) The merger commission elected pursuant to section 709.45 of the Revised Code fails to reach agreement on merger conditions by the ninetieth day preceding the next general election occurring after the election of the members of the commission or, if the time for the commission's existence is extended under division (D) of section 709.462 of the Revised Code, by the date that extension ceases, whichever is later.

(C) The merger conditions agreed upon by the merger commission are defeated by a majority of the electors of any one of the municipal corporations or the unincorporated territory of the township in which the election on the conditions is held.

Cite as R.C. § 709.48

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

Effective Date: 09-29-1994; 04-07-2005

709.50 Removal of area.

(A) Notwithstanding any other section of the Revised Code, when a township contains at least ninety per cent of the geographic area of a municipal corporation, either that township or the municipal corporation may remove that part of that township that is located within the municipal corporation from that township if all of the following apply:

(1) The electors of the township and the municipal corporation have voted to approve the establishment of a merger commission pursuant to section 709.45 of the Revised Code.

(2) The unincorporated territory of the township has a population of more than nine thousand.

(3) The township has previously adopted a limited home rule government under Chapter 504. of the Revised Code and a township zoning resolution under Chapter 519. of the Revised Code.

(4) Not later than December 31, 1994, either the township adopts a resolution or the municipal corporation adopts a resolution or ordinance to remove that part of the township that is located in the municipal corporation from the township. Any resolution or ordinance adopted under division (A)(4) of this section shall include an accurate description of the land to be removed. The political subdivision that adopts an ordinance or resolution under division (A)(4) of this section shall file with the county recorder a copy of it certified by the county auditor, together with a map or plat certified by the county auditor of the land to be removed. The county recorder shall record the ordinance or resolution and the map or plat.

(B) If either the township or the municipal corporation takes the action described in division (A)(4) of this section, the removal shall occur. After the removal, the unincorporated territory of the township shall no longer receive any revenue by virtue of its relationship to the municipal corporation. As soon as practicable after a removal occurs under this section, the board of county commissioners shall ascertain whether there is any joint indebtedness of the unincorporated territory of the township and the municipal corporation. If there is any such indebtedness, the board of county commissioners shall apportion it in accordance with section 503.10 of the Revised Code.

(C)

(1) If a removal occurs under this section, all or part of the unincorporated territory of the township may become a village if the board of township trustees adopts, by unanimous vote, a resolution for all or part of that territory to become a village. The board of township trustees shall file with the county recorder a copy of any resolution it adopts under division (C)(1) of this section certified by the county auditor, together with a map or plat certified by the county auditor of the land to be included in the village. The county recorder shall record the resolution and the map or plat. Once the board adopts a resolution under division (C)(1) of this section, no land within the area that will constitute the village may be annexed, and any pending annexation proceeding that includes land in that area shall be considered to be terminated with regard to that land.

(2) If the board does not adopt a resolution under division (C)(1) of this section, or if the board adopts such a resolution in which only a part of the unincorporated territory becomes a village, the board of county commissioners shall attach all the unincorporated territory that does not become a village to any township contiguous to that territory or erect that territory into a new township, the boundaries of which need not include twenty-two square miles of territory.

(D) If a board of township trustees adopts a resolution under division (C)(1) of this section for all or part of the township's unincorporated territory to become a village, the board shall serve as the legislative authority of the area constituting the village until the next regular municipal election that occurs at least ninety days after the adoption of the resolution. At that election, the legislative authority of the village shall be elected under section 731.09 of the Revised Code and all other officers of the village shall be elected under Chapter 733. of the Revised Code.

Cite as R.C. § 709.50

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

Effective Date: 09-20-1999