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Zoning Amendments … 1 … 2 … 3 … No More Tree

In the case of Armatas v. Plain Twp., 2023-Ohio-204, an appellate court held that a township board of trustees did not violate the zoning resolution amendment process set forth in R.C. 519.12 when the trustees removed the definition of “tree” from a zoning resolution.

As a preliminary matter, it is important to know that R.C. 519.12 provides that amendments to zoning resolutions must first be considered by the regional planning commission, second be considered by the township zoning commission, and third be considered by the township board of trustees.

In this case, the citizen argued that the trustees were prohibited from approving an amendment removing the definition of “tree” from a zoning resolution because, while the regional planning commission recommended removal of the “tree” definition, the township zoning commission refused to make such a recommendation and, therefore, the trustees were limited to shall adopting, denying, or modifying the recommendations of the township zoning commission. In response, the trustees argued that the trustees had the right to modify the recommendation of the township zoning commission and remove the “tree” definition. The appellate court agreed with the trustees.

In support of its decision, the appellate court explained that both the regional planning and township zoning commissions considered the same “tree” definition removal resolution and gave their respective recommendations, and the trustees simply chose not to follow the zoning commission’s recommendation, which the trustees had the right to do under R.C. 519.12(H).

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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