931.03 Hearing on application - resolution establishing area - duration.

(A)

(1) Not later than sixty days after receipt of an application submitted under section 931.02 of the Revised Code, the board of township trustees of each township in which the land that is proposed for enrollment in an agricultural security area is located and the board of county commissioners of each county in which the land is located shall hear the application at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the board. A board, not later than thirty days prior to the time of the meeting, shall cause a notice containing the time and place of the meeting to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the township or county, as applicable, and to be sent to the superintendent of each school district within the proposed agricultural security area, the county engineer of each county in which the proposed area would be located, the legislative authority of each municipal corporation that is located within one-half mile of the boundaries of the proposed area if the municipal corporation has requested notice of such a meeting, and the director of transportation.

As part of the hearing on an application, a board shall review any information that it possesses concerning improvements that are planned to be made during the subsequent ten years to existing or proposed roads that are located or are to be located within the area that is proposed for enrollment in an agricultural security area. As used in division (A)(1) of this section, "proposed road" means any future roadway project that is on a new alignment or relocation of an existing alignment and for which state or federal funding has been allocated for, but not limited to, a planning level roadway improvement study, an interchange justification or bypass study, environmental review, design, right-of-way acquisition, or construction, and "improvement" includes any action taken with respect to an existing or proposed road that would cause the road to cover a portion of land that it does not cover or is not proposed to cover at the time of the hearing. Any portion of land that would be covered by a planned improvement shall not be eligible for enrollment in an agricultural security area.

As part of the hearing on an application, a board also may consider any comprehensive plan that is in place for the county or township, as applicable, and may choose to approve or reject the application on the basis of the proposed agricultural security area's compliance with the comprehensive plan.

(2) The board of township trustees of each township and the board of county commissioners of each county that is required to hear an application under division (A)(1) of this section may conduct a joint meeting in lieu of meeting separately not later than forty-five days after receipt of an application under section 931.02 of the Revised Code. A single public notice concerning the meeting shall be provided in the manner prescribed in division (A)(1) of this section in each township and county participating in the meeting. The cost of the public notice shall be shared equally by all townships and counties participating in the joint meeting.

For purposes of such a joint meeting, the clerk of the board of county commissioners of the county that includes the most land that is located or is to be located within the agricultural security area shall serve as the clerk on behalf of all boards of county commissioners and boards of township trustees participating in the joint meeting. The clerk's duties shall include providing the public notice that is required under this section together with maintaining minutes and a record of proceedings for the joint meeting.

(3) Not later than forty-five days after a board of township trustees hears the application and not later than sixty days after a board of county commissioners hears the application, each respective board shall adopt a resolution either approving or rejecting the application. However, if a board determines that the information in the application is incorrect or the application is incomplete, the board shall return the application to the applicant, by certified mail, with an enumeration of the items that are incorrect or incomplete.

Upon receipt of the returned application, the applicant may amend the application. Not later than fifteen days after receipt of the returned application, the applicant may submit an amended application to each board of township trustees and each board of county commissioners to whom the original application was submitted.

Not later than thirty days after receipt of an amended application, a board shall adopt a resolution either approving or rejecting the amended application. Not later than five days after adoption of the resolution, the board shall notify the applicant, by certified mail, of the board's decision to approve or reject the application.

(4) Any person may submit comments to any board of county commissioners or board of township trustees to which an application or amended application has been submitted under this chapter at any time prior to and at any public meeting at which the application or amended application is heard.

(B)

(1) An agricultural security area is established, and the land that is proposed for inclusion in the area is enrolled in the area, upon the adoption of a resolution by each of the affected boards of township trustees and boards of county commissioners approving the same version of the application or applications requesting the establishment of the area.

(2) Not later than thirty days after a board adopts a resolution approving the establishment of an agricultural security area, the board shall send a copy of the resolution to the director of agriculture, the director of transportation, the superintendent of each school district within the area, the county engineer, and the county auditor.

(C) A resolution approving the establishment of an agricultural security area shall include all of the following:

(1) A statement that the board of township trustees or board of county commissioners, as applicable, commits not to initiate, approve, or finance any development for residential, commercial, or industrial purposes, including construction of new roads and water and sewer lines, within the area for a period of ten years. For purposes of division (C)(1) of this section, "development" does not include any of the following:

(a) The improvement of existing roads, provided that the county engineer of each county in which the portion of the area affected by the improvement is located determines that the improvement is necessary for traffic safety, and provided that the improvement is as consistent as possible with the agricultural use of land in the area;

(b) The construction, modification, or operation of transmission or distribution lines for electricity, gas, or oil or of any gathering or production lines for oil or gas, provided that the construction, modification, or operation of the lines does not cause the land to become ineligible for valuation and assessment for real property tax purposes in accordance with its current agricultural use value under sections 5713.30 to 5713.38 of the Revised Code;

(c) The construction, modification, or operation of water lines or sewer lines, provided that an official or employee of the environmental protection agency orders the construction, modification, or operation for the purpose of enabling water and sewer service areas that are outside of the agricultural security area to be connected to each other, and provided that the lines do not provide service connections to land within the agricultural security area.

(2) A requirement that the owner or owners of the land in the area use best management practices;

(3) A statement that describes the agreement that was reached with other boards, if applicable, under section 5709.28 of the Revised Code concerning the percentage of the taxable value of qualifying agricultural real property in the agricultural security area that is to be exempted from taxation under that section and the number of years that the tax exemption established under that section will apply to that property.

(D) An agricultural security area may continue in existence for ten years unless either of the following occurs:

(1) The sole owner of land enrolled in the area withdraws under section 931.07 of the Revised Code.

(2) Unless division (C) of section 931.07 of the Revised Code applies, land in the area fails to satisfy any of the criteria specified in divisions (B)(1) to (3) of section 931.02 of the Revised Code.

(E) The approval or disapproval of an application under this section is not a final order, adjudication, or decision under section 2506.01 of the Revised Code and is not appealable under Chapter 2506. of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 05-18-2005; 2008 HB289 07-18-2008