Many of Ohio’s local communities have instituted zoning as a way to orderly plan the various uses of land. However, important statutory protections limit the reach of local zoning to agricultural land in certain circumstances. Here are a few things to know about zoning and land use:

1. The Ohio Revised Code does place some limits on a local community’s ability to zone certain land uses, specifically in the cases of county or township zoning.

2. Counties and townships cannot regulate agriculture on parcels that are more than five acres. On smaller parcels, zoning is enforceable over certain aspects of agriculture, including buildings.

3. Farm markets can be regulated specifically for building height, size, and set-back, as well as ingress/egress. However, if a farm market receives at least 50 percent of its income from products raised on the farms owned and operated by the market operator, there can be no additional regulation of the farm market.

4. If agricultural land is outside of a city but is later annexed in, that agricultural land will most likely be considered a nonconforming use. The agricultural land can continue its use inside the city, but will be limited in ability to expand or alter the operation.

5. A landowner will typically be notified of a zoning infraction from their local zoning authority or inspector. Landowners who dispute the citation can typically appeal through the local Zoning Board of Appeals.

More Landowner Information

For further explanation of these tips and other information on other topics impacting landowners, Ohio Farm Bureau members can log in and download the Landowner Toolkit. Not a member? Join today!

Get the full list of landowner topics covered in the toolkit, with tips blogs for each in Ohio Farm Bureau’s Legal Information Series.

Also, listen to Legal with Leah, a podcast featuring Ohio Farm Bureau’s Director of Ag Law Leah Curtis discussing topics impacting landowners.

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Bethany Starlin

Hocking County Farm Bureau

Available scholarships
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
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Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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