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.
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For further explanation of these tips and more information on zoning laws, Ohio Farm Bureau members can download the full brochure in the attachment above.
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