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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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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Cuyahoga County Farm Bureau

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Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau

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Licking County Farm Bureau

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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

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