Ohio Farm Bureau Landowner Toolkit - Page 9

Zoning and Land Use Zoning restrictions can often place burdens upon agricultural activities of landowners. This brochure seeks to help landowners understand what are permissible zoning restrictions that can be applied to agricultural activities on their land. County and Township Zoning Both county and township governments have the ability to set reasonable zoning regulations. This power is specifically granted to them through Ohio law. However, both of these local authorities are also restricted by the laws of the state, and cannot exceed the limitations that have been placed upon them by state law. In general, state law has created a very limited ability for county or township governments to make zoning regulations concerning agriculture. Two similar statutes provide this limitation to local governments. The statutes prohibit these local authorities from making any zoning regulations concerning agriculture that apply to lots larger than 5 acres. On lots that are less than 5 acres and located either in a platted subdivision or a non-platted area that consists of at least 15 contiguous lots, local governments have more flexibility regarding their zoning of agriculture. Specifically, local authorities can regulate: • Any agricultural activities on lots that are one acre or less. • Agricultural building height, size, and set-backs on lots less than 5 acres but more than one acre; • Animal or poultry husbandry or dairying, on lots less than 5 acres, but more than 1 acre when those lots are in a subdivision which has at least 35 percent of the total lots developed. Once 35% of the lots are developed, any existing dairying or animal/ poultry husbandry will be considered a nonconforming use. County and township authorities are also limited in their ability to exercise zoning power over certain related 21