Section 5541.05 | County commissioners may place graveled or unimproved road in nonmaintained status.
(A) Except as otherwise provided in division (D) of this section, a board of county commissioners by resolution may place a graveled or unimproved county road under its jurisdiction that is not passable year-round or any portion of such a road on nonmaintained status. Prior to adopting a resolution that places a road on nonmaintained status, the board, at special or regular meetings, shall hold at least two public hearings to allow for public comment on the proposed resolution. The board shall publicize the times and places of the hearings by causing a notice to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the road is located at least ten days prior to the date of the first meeting. If the county maintains a web site on the internet, the same notice also shall be posted on the web site at least ten days prior to the date of the first meeting. Upon adoption of such a resolution, the board is not required to cause the road to be dragged at any time, or to cut, destroy, or remove any brush, weeds, briers, bushes, or thistles upon or along the road, or to remove snow from the road, or to maintain or repair the road in any manner. The board, in its discretion, may cause any of these actions to be performed on or to a road that it has placed on nonmaintained status.
(B) Prior to adopting a resolution under division (A) of this section, the board shall request the county engineer to issue an advisory opinion regarding the consequences of placing the road on nonmaintained status, including any impact such action would have on adjoining property owners. A board may adopt a resolution under division (A) of this section only after the county engineer issues the advisory opinion and the county engineer, in the advisory opinion, finds that placing the road on nonmaintained status will not unduly adversely affect the flow of motor vehicle traffic on that road or on any adjacent road.
(C)(1) A board may terminate the nonmaintained status of a county road by adopting a resolution to that effect. If the owner of land adjoining a road that has been placed on nonmaintained status requests the board to terminate the nonmaintained status of the road, the board, in its resolution that terminates that nonmaintained status, may require the owner to pay the costs of upgrading the road to locally adopted county standards.
(2) If the owner of land adjoining a road that has been placed on nonmaintained status upgrades the road to the standards most recently certified by the county engineer for the road, the board shall terminate the nonmaintained status of the road and then shall maintain and repair the road according to such standards. However, division (C)(2) of this section does not apply to a road or portion of a road that, prior to being placed on nonmaintained status, was not certified by the board of county commissioners to the director of transportation in accordance with division (D) of section 4501.04 of the Revised Code as mileage in the county used by and maintained for the public.
(3) The owner of land adjoining a road that was placed on nonmaintained status prior to the effective date of this amendment or the owner of land whose only access to such a road is by easement may petition the board for review of the nonmaintained status of the road if the road provides the exclusive means for obtaining access to the land. Upon receipt of a petition, the board shall review the status of the road and shall terminate the nonmaintained status if the board finds that the road provides such exclusive means for obtaining access to the land. After completing the review, the board shall adopt a resolution either retaining or terminating the nonmaintained status of the road. If the board terminates the nonmaintained status of a road under division (C)(3) of this section, the board shall not require the owner to pay the costs of upgrading, maintaining, or repairing the road.
(D) A graveled or unimproved road may not be placed on nonmaintained status if the road is the exclusive means for obtaining access to land that adjoins that road and the road is passable year-round.
(E) For purposes of this section, a road is passable year-round if a four-wheeled, two-wheel drive passenger motor vehicle can be driven on the road year-round, apart from seasonal conditions caused by weather-related events.