130th Ohio General Assembly
The online versions of legislation provided on this website are not official. Enrolled bills are the final version passed by the Ohio General Assembly and presented to the Governor for signature. The official version of acts signed by the Governor are available from the Secretary of State's Office in the Continental Plaza, 180 East Broad St., Columbus.
***
An attempt was made to recreate these historic documents. The original text was retained, however, during the process some errors in formatting may have been introduced. The official version of the act may be obtained from the Secretary of State's Office listed above.
***

(123rd General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 368)



AN ACT
To amend sections 1710.01, 1710.02, 1710.03, 1710.04, 1710.06, and 1710.13 and to enact section 1710.021 of the Revised Code to expand the types of permissible provisions in initial plans for special improvement districts, to clarify the meaning of church property for purposes of the special improvements districts law, to increase the time for providing notices to property owners under that law, and to require property owners to give transferees notices received under that law.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1 .  That sections 1710.01, 1710.02, 1710.03, 1710.04, 1710.06, and 1710.13 be amended and section 1710.021 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 1710.01.  As used in this chapter:

(A) "Special improvement district" means a special improvement district organized under this chapter.

(B) "Church" means a fellowship of believers, congregation, society, corporation, convention, or association that is formed primarily or exclusively for religious purposes and that is not formed for the private profit of any person.

(C) "Church property" means real property occupied by buildings used exclusively for public worship and any real property owned and operated by a church that is used primarily for church retreats or church camping and that is not used as a permanent residence that is described as being exempt from taxation under division (A)(2) of section 5709.07 of the Revised Code and that the county auditor has entered on the exempt list compiled under section 5713.07 of the Revised Code.

(D) "Municipal executive" means the mayor, city manager, or other chief executive officer of the municipal corporation in which a special improvement district is located.

(E) "Participating political subdivision" means the municipal corporation or township, or each of the municipal corporations or townships, that has territory within the boundaries of a special improvement district created under this chapter.

(F) "Legislative authority of a participating political subdivision" means, with reference to a township, the board of township trustees.

(G) "Public improvement" means the planning, design, construction, reconstruction, enlargement, or alteration of any facility or improvement, including the acquisition of land, for which a special assessment may be levied under Chapter 727. of the Revised Code.

(H) "Public service" means any service that can be provided by a municipal corporation or any service for which a special assessment may be levied under Chapter 727. of the Revised Code.

Sec. 1710.02.  (A) A special improvement district may be created within the boundaries of any one municipal corporation, any one township, or any combination of contiguous municipal corporations and townships by a petition of the property owners within the proposed district, for the purpose of developing and implementing plans for public improvements and public services that benefit the district. All territory in a district shall be contiguous.

The district shall be governed by the board of trustees of a nonprofit corporation. This board shall be known as the board of directors of the special improvement district. No such special improvement district shall include any church property, or property of the federal or state government or a county, township, or municipal corporation, unless the church or the county, township, or municipal corporation specifically requests in writing that the property be included within the district. More than one district may be created within a participating political subdivision, but no parcel of real property may be included within more than one district unless the owner of the property files a written consent with the clerk of the legislative authority or the village clerk, as appropriate. The area of each district shall be contiguous.

(B) Except as provided in division (C) of this section, a district created under this chapter is not a political subdivision. A district created under this chapter shall be considered a "public agency" under section 102.01 and a "public authority" under section 4115.03 of the Revised Code. Each member of the board of directors of a district, each such member's designee or proxy, and each officer and employee of a district shall be considered a "public official or employee" under section 102.01 of the Revised Code and a "public official" and "public servant" under section 2921.42 of the Revised Code. Districts created under this chapter are not subject to section 121.24 of the Revised Code. Districts created under this chapter are subject to sections 121.22 and 121.23 of the Revised Code.

(C) Each district created under this chapter shall be considered a political subdivision for purposes of section 4905.34 of the Revised Code.

Membership on the board of directors of the district shall not be considered as holding a public office. Directors and their designees shall be entitled to those the immunities provided by Chapter 1702. and to the same immunity as a public an employee under Chapter 2744. division (A)(6) of section 2744.03 of the Revised Code, except that directors and their designees shall not be entitled to the indemnification provided in section 2744.07 of the Revised Code unless the director or designee is an employee or official of a participating political subdivision of the district and is acting within the scope of his or her the director's or designee's employment or official responsibilities.

District officers and district members and directors and their designees or proxies shall not be required to file a statement with the Ohio ethics commission under section 102.02 of the Revised Code. All records of the district shall be treated as public records in accordance with under section 149.43 of the Revised Code, except that records of organizations contracting with a district shall not be considered to be public records under section 149.43 or section 149.431 of the Revised Code solely by reason of any contract with a district.

(D) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the nonprofit corporation that governs a district shall be organized in the manner described in Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code. Such a The corporation's articles of incorporation are required to be approved, as provided in division (E) of this section, by resolution of the legislative authority of each participating political subdivision of the district. A copy of that resolution shall be filed along with the articles of incorporation in the secretary of state's office.

In addition to meeting the requirements for articles of incorporation set forth in Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code, the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit corporations corporation governing a district formed under this chapter shall provide all the following:

(1) The name for the district, which shall include the name of each participating political subdivision of the district;

(2) A description of the territory within the district, which may be all or part of each participating political subdivision. The description shall be specific enough to enable real property owners to determine if their property is located within the district.

(3) A description of the procedure by which the articles of incorporation may be amended. The procedure shall include receiving approval of the amendment, by resolution, from the legislative authority of each participating political subdivision and filing the approved amendment and resolution with the secretary of state.

(4) The reasons for creating the district, plus an explanation of how the district will be conducive to the public health, safety, peace, convenience, and welfare of the district.

(E) The articles of incorporation for a nonprofit corporation governing a district created under this section chapter and amendments to them shall be submitted to the municipal executive, if any, and the legislative authority of each municipal corporation or township in which the proposed district is to be located, accompanied by a petition signed either by the owners of at least sixty per cent of the front footage of all real property located in the proposed district that abuts upon any street, alley, public road, place, boulevard, parkway, park entrance, easement, or other existing public improvement within the proposed district, excluding church property or property owned by the state, county, township, municipal, or federal government, unless a church, county, township, or municipal corporation has specifically requested in writing that the property be included in the district, or by the owners of at least seventy-five per cent of the area of all real property located within the proposed district, excluding church property or property owned by the state, county, township, municipal, or federal government, unless a church, county, township, or municipal corporation has specifically requested in writing that the property be included in the district. For purposes of determining compliance with these requirements, the area of the district, or the front footage and ownership of property, shall be as shown in the most current records available at the county recorder's office and the county engineer's office twenty sixty days prior to the date on which the petition is filed.

Each municipal corporation or township with which the petition is filed has sixty days to approve or disapprove, by resolution, the petition, including the articles of incorporation. This chapter shall does not prohibit or restrict the rights of municipal corporations under Article XVIII of the Ohio Constitution or the right of the municipal legislative authority to impose reasonable conditions in its a resolution of approval.

(F) Persons proposing creation and operation of the district may propose an initial services plan for public services or public improvements that benefit all or any part of the district. Any such initial plan shall be submitted as part of the petition proposing creation of the district.

An initial services plan may include provisions for only the following:

(1) Creation and operation of the district and of the nonprofit corporation to govern the district under this chapter;

(2) Hiring employees and professional services;

(3) Contracting for insurance;

(4) Purchasing or leasing office space and office equipment;

(5) Other actions necessary initially to form, operate, or organize the district and a the nonprofit corporation to govern the district;

(6) A plan for public improvements or public services that benefit all or part of the district, which plan shall comply with the requirements of division (A) of section 1710.06 of the Revised Code and may include, but is not limited to, any of the permissive provisions described in the fourth sentence of that division or listed in divisions (A)(1) to (5) of that section.

After the initial plan is approved by all municipal corporations and townships to which it is submitted for approval and the district is created, each participating subdivision shall levy a special assessment within its boundaries to pay for the costs of the initial plan. The levy shall be for no more than four ten years from the date of the approval of the initial plan. For purposes of levying an assessment for this initial plan, the services or improvements included in the initial plan shall be deemed a special benefit to property owners within the district.

(G) Each nonprofit corporation governing a district under this chapter may do the following:

(1) Exercise all powers of nonprofit corporations granted under Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code that do not conflict with this chapter;

(2) Develop, adopt, revise, implement, and repeal plans for public improvements and public services for all or any part of the district;

(3) Contract with any person, political subdivision as defined in division (F) of section 2744.01 of the Revised Code, or state agency as defined in section 1.60 of the Revised Code to develop and implement plans for public improvements or public services within the district;

(4) Contract and pay for insurance for the district and for trustees directors, officers, agents, contractors, employees, or members of the district for any consequences of the implementation of any plan adopted by the district or any actions of the district.

Sec. 1710.021.  Any owner of an interest in real property that is located within a proposed or existing special improvement district who enters into a contract to transfer the interest shall give to the transferee of the interest within the specified period of time both of the following:

(A) Within five days after entering into the contract, each notice that the owner received under this chapter within ninety days prior to entering into the contract;

(B) Within five days after its receipt, each notice that the owner receives under this chapter after entering into the contract until the contract is completely performed or terminated.

Sec. 1710.03.  (A) Each owner, other than a church or the state, county, township, municipal, or federal government, unless a church or county, township, or municipal corporation has specifically requested in writing that the property be included in the district, of real property within a special improvement district is a member of the district, and the real property of each member of the district is subject to special assessment under division (C) of section 1710.06 of the Revised Code. The identity and address of the owners shall be determined for any particular action of the nonprofit corporation that governs the district, including notice of meetings of the district, no more than twenty sixty days prior to the date of the action, from the most current records available at the county auditor's office. For purposes of this chapter, the persons shown on such records as having common or joint ownership interests in a parcel of real property collectively shall constitute the owner of the real property.

(B) A member may file a written statement with the district's secretary at least three days prior to any meeting of the entire membership of the district to appoint a proxy to carry out the member's rights and responsibilities under this chapter at that meeting.

(C) A member also may appoint a designee to carry out the member's rights and responsibilities under this chapter by filing a written designation form with the district's secretary. This form shall include the name and address of the member, the name and address of the designee, and the expiration date, if any, of the designation and may authorize the designee to vote at any meeting of the district.

(D) A proxy or designee need not be an elector or resident of any participating political subdivision of the district or a member of the district. A proxy or designee may be designated by and vote for no more than one member. The appointment of a proxy or a designee may be changed by filing a new form with the district's secretary. The most current form filed with the secretary is the valid appointment. Service of any notice upon a proxy or designee at the proxy's or designee's address as shown on that form satisfies any requirements for notification of the member.

Sec. 1710.04.  (A) A special improvement district created under this chapter shall be governed by the board of directors of the special improvement district. The board shall consist of at least five directors. The board shall include a person appointed by the legislative authority of each participating political subdivision and the municipal executive of each municipal corporation with territory within the boundaries of the special improvement district. The remainder of the board's members shall be members of the district. Except for the municipal executives and the appointees of the legislative authorities, members of the board of directors shall be elected at a meeting of the entire membership of the district. The initial election of directors may occur at the first meeting of the entire membership of the district after its creation. All subsequent elections shall be held at a November meeting of the membership.

Each municipal executive may designate one person who is an employee of the municipal corporation involved with its planning or economic development functions to serve in the municipal executive's stead. This designee shall serve at the pleasure of the municipal executive.

(B) A director may file a written statement with the district's secretary at least three days prior to any meeting of the board to have a person act as proxy to carry out the director's rights and responsibilities under this chapter at that meeting.

A director may also appoint a designee to carry out the director's rights and responsibilities under this chapter by filing a written designation form with the district's secretary. This form shall include the name and address of the director, the name and address of the designee, and the expiration date, if any, of the designation.

A proxy or designee need not be an elector or resident of a participating political subdivision of the district or a member of the district. A proxy or designee may be designated by and vote for no more than one director. The appointment of a proxy or designee may be changed by filing a new form with the district's secretary. The most current form filed with the secretary is the valid appointment. Service of any notice upon a proxy or designee at the proxy's or designee's address as shown on that form satisfies any requirements for notification of the director.

(C) Notice of the time, date, place, and agenda for any meeting of the board of directors shall be by written notice to each director, transmitted by certified mail, personal service, or electronic device prior to the meeting. If possible, the notice shall be served at least one week prior to the meeting.

The board shall act by a majority vote of those present and authorized to vote at any meeting where proper notice has been served.

(D) The board shall elect a chairman chairperson, vice-chairman vice-chairperson, secretary, and treasurer of the board. These officers shall serve at the board's pleasure. A director may be elected to more than one office, except that the director elected as treasurer shall not be elected to any other office of the board.

By the first day of March of each year, the treasurer shall submit to each member of the district and to the municipal executive, chief fiscal officer, and legislative authority of each municipal corporation with territory within the boundaries of the special improvement district and the board of township trustees of each township with territory within the boundaries of the special improvement district, a report of the district's activities and financial condition for the previous year.

Sec. 1710.06.  (A) The board of directors of a special improvement district may develop and adopt one or more written plans for public improvements or public services that benefit all or any part of the district. Each plan shall set forth the specific public improvements or public services that are to be provided, identify the area in which they will be provided, and specify the method of assessment to be used. Each plan for public improvements or public services shall indicate the period of time the assessments are to be levied for the improvements and services and, if public services are included in the plan, the period of time the services are to remain in effect. Plans for public improvements may include the planning, design, construction, reconstruction, enlargement, or alteration of any public improvements and the acquisition of land for the improvements. Plans for public improvements or public services may also include, but are not limited to, provisions for the following:

(1) Creating and operating the district and the nonprofit corporation under this chapter, including hiring employees and professional services, contracting for insurance, and purchasing or leasing office space and office equipment and other requirements of the district;

(2) Planning, designing, and implementing a public improvements or public services plan, including hiring architectural, engineering, legal, appraisal, insurance, and planning services, and, for public services, managing, protecting, and maintaining public and private facilities, including public improvements;

(3) Conducting court proceedings to carry out this chapter;

(4) Paying damages resulting from the provision of public improvements or public services and implementing the plans;

(5) Paying the costs of issuing, paying interest on, and redeeming notes and bonds issued for funding public improvements and public services plans.

(B) Once the board of trustees directors adopts a plan, it shall submit the plan to the legislative authority of each participating political subdivision and the municipal executive of each municipal corporation in which the district is located, if any. The legislative authorities and municipal executives shall review the plan and, within sixty days after receiving it, may submit their comments and recommendations about it to the district. After reviewing these comments and recommendations, the board of directors may amend the plan. It may then submit the plan, amended or otherwise, in the form of a petition to members of the district whose property may be assessed for the plan. Once the petition is signed by those members who own at least sixty per cent of the front footage of property that is to be assessed and that abuts upon a street, alley, public road, place, boulevard, parkway, park entrance, easement, or other public improvement, or those members who own at least seventy-five per cent of the area to be assessed for the improvement or service, the petition may be submitted to each legislative authority for approval.

Each legislative authority shall, by resolution, approve or reject the petition within sixty days after receiving it. If the petition is approved by the legislative authority of each participating political subdivision, the plan contained in the petition shall be effective at the earliest date on which a nonemergency resolution of the legislative authority with the latest effective date may become effective. A plan may not be resubmitted to the legislative authorities and municipal executives more than three times in any twelve-month period.

(C) Each participating political subdivision shall levy, by special assessment upon specially benefited property located within the district, the costs of any public improvements or public services plan contained in a petition approved by the participating political subdivisions under this section or division (F) of section 1710.02 of the Revised Code. Such a The levy shall be made in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 727. of the Revised Code, except that:

(1) The assessment for each improvements or services plan may be levied by any one or any combination of the methods of assessment listed in section 727.01 of the Revised Code, provided that the assessment is uniformly applied.

(2) For the purpose of levying an assessment, the board of directors may combine one or more improvements or services plans or parts of plans and levy a single assessment against specially benefited property.

(3) For purposes of special assessments levied by a township pursuant to this chapter, references in Chapter 727. of the Revised Code to the municipal corporation shall be deemed to refer to the township, and references to the legislative authority of the municipal corporation shall be deemed to refer to the board of township trustees.

Property Church property or property owned by a political subdivision, including any participating political subdivision in which a special improvement district is located, shall be included in and be subject to special assessments made pursuant to a plan adopted under this section or division (F) of section 1710.02 of the Revised Code, if the church or political subdivision has specifically requested in writing designating that its property to be included in within the special improvement district and the church or political subdivision is a member of the district.

(D) All rights and privileges of property owners who are assessed under Chapter 727. of the Revised Code shall be granted to property owners assessed under this chapter, including those rights and privileges specified in sections 727.15 to 727.17 and 727.18 to 727.22 of the Revised Code and the right to notice of the resolution of necessity and the filing of the estimated assessment under section 727.13 of the Revised Code. Property owners assessed for public services under this chapter shall have the same rights and privileges as property owners assessed for public improvements under this chapter.

Sec. 1710.13.  The process for dissolving a special improvement district or repealing an improvements or services plan may be initiated by a petition signed by members of the district who own at least twenty per cent of the appraised value of the real property located in the district, excluding church property or real property owned by the federal government or, the state, or a county, township, or municipal corporation, unless the church, county, township, or municipal corporation has specifically requested in writing that the property be included in the district, and filed with the municipal executive, if any, and the legislative authorities of all the participating political subdivisions of the district. As used in this section, "appraised value" means the taxable value established by the county auditor for purposes of real estate taxation.

No later than forty-five days after such a petition is filed, the members of the district shall meet to consider it. Notice of the meeting shall be given as provided in section 1710.05 of the Revised Code. Upon the affirmative vote of members who collectively own more than fifty per cent of the appraised value of the real property in the district that may be subject to assessment under division (C) of section 1710.06 of the Revised Code, the district shall be dissolved, or the plan shall be repealed, as applicable.

No rights or obligations of any person under any contract, or in relation to any bonds, notes, or assessments made under this chapter, shall be affected by the dissolution of the district or the repeal of a plan, except with the consent of that person or by order of a court with jurisdiction over the matter. Upon dissolution of a district, any assets or rights of the district, after payment of all bonds, notes, or other obligations of the district, shall be deposited in a special account in the treasury of the each participating political subdivision, prorated among all participating political subdivisions to reflect the percentage of the district's territory within that political subdivision, to be used for the benefit of the territory that made up the district.

Once the members have approved the repeal of a plan, all bonds, notes, and other obligations of the district associated with the plan shall be paid. Thereafter, the plan shall be repealed. Upon receipt of proof that all bonds, notes, and other obligations have been paid and that the plan has been repealed, the participating political subdivisions shall terminate any levies imposed to pay for costs of the plan.

SECTION 2 .  That existing sections 1710.01, 1710.02, 1710.03, 1710.04, 1710.06, and 1710.13 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

Please send questions and comments to the Webmaster.
© 2017 Legislative Information Systems | Disclaimer