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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Having opportunities to attend leadership institutes, advocate for rural Ohioans on the state and national level, facilitate young ag professionals events, and serve in a variety of leadership positions have helped my skills grow exponentially.
Sara Tallmadge's avatar
Sara Tallmadge

Ashland 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.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Business Solutions
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.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
I was gifted the great opportunity through an Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation Youth Pathways grant to run a series of summer camps here. That really expanded my vision of what ‘grow, maintain, sustain and explain’ could actually be.
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Jim Bruner

Mezzacello Urban Farms

Farming for Good
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.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
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.
Mary Smallsreed's avatar
Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Advocacy
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