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

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