130th Ohio General Assembly
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S. B. No. 334  As Introduced
As Introduced

130th General Assembly
Regular Session
2013-2014
S. B. No. 334


Senators Jones, Peterson 

Cosponsors: Senators Hite, Beagle, Gardner, Manning, Cafaro, Gentile 



A BILL
To amend sections 303.21, 519.21, 1711.57, and 5713.30 and to enact section 901.80 of the Revised Code to limit the authority of a board of county commissioners or board of township trustees to prohibit agritourism through zoning, to apply current agricultural use valuation to land used for agritourism for property tax purposes, to establish immunity in a civil action for agritourism providers, and to authorize the Director of Agriculture to adopt rules regarding amusement rides at agritourism locations.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 303.21, 519.21, 1711.57, and 5713.30 be amended and section 901.80 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 303.21.  (A) Except as otherwise provided in division (B) of this section, sections 303.01 to 303.25 of the Revised Code do not confer any power on any county rural zoning commission, board of county commissioners, or board of zoning appeals to prohibit the use of any land for agricultural purposes or the construction or use of buildings or structures incident to the use for agricultural purposes of the land on which such buildings or structures are located, and no zoning certificate shall be required for any such building or structure.
(B) A county zoning resolution, or an amendment to such resolution, may in any platted subdivision approved under section 711.05, 711.09, or 711.10 of the Revised Code, or in any area consisting of fifteen or more lots approved under section 711.131 of the Revised Code that are contiguous to one another, or some of which are contiguous to one another and adjacent to one side of a dedicated public road, and the balance of which are contiguous to one another and adjacent to the opposite side of the same dedicated public road regulate:
(1) Agriculture on lots of one acre or less;
(2) Buildings or structures incident to the use of land for agricultural purposes on lots greater than one acre but not greater than five acres by: set back building lines; height; and size;
(3) Dairying and animal and poultry husbandry on lots greater than one acre but not greater than five acres when at least thirty-five per cent of the lots in the subdivision are developed with at least one building, structure, or improvement that is subject to real property taxation or that is subject to the tax on manufactured and mobile homes under section 4503.06 of the Revised Code. After thirty-five per cent of the lots are so developed, dairying and animal and poultry husbandry shall be considered nonconforming use of land and buildings or structures pursuant to section 303.19 of the Revised Code.
Division (B) of this section confers no power on any county rural zoning commission, board of county commissioners, or board of zoning appeals to regulate agriculture, buildings or structures, and dairying and animal and poultry husbandry on lots greater than five acres.
(C) Such sections confer no power on any board of county commissioners, county rural zoning commission, or board of zoning appeals to prohibit in a district zoned for agricultural, industrial, residential, or commercial uses, the use of any land for:
(1) A farm market where fifty per cent or more of the gross income received from the market is derived from produce raised on farms owned or operated by the market operator in a normal crop year. However, a board of county commissioners, as provided in section 303.02 of the Revised Code, may regulate such factors pertaining to farm markets as size of the structure, size of parking areas that may be required, set back building lines, and egress or ingress, where such regulation is necessary to protect the public health and safety.
(2) Biodiesel production, biomass energy production, or electric or heat energy production if the land on which the production facility is located qualifies as land devoted exclusively to agricultural use under sections 5713.30 to 5713.37 of the Revised Code for real property tax purposes. As used in division (C)(2) of this section, "biodiesel," "biomass energy," and "electric or heat energy" have the same meanings as in section 5713.30 of the Revised Code.
(3) Biologically derived methane gas production if the land on which the production facility is located qualifies as land devoted exclusively to agricultural use under sections 5713.30 to 5713.37 of the Revised Code for real property tax purposes and if the facility that produces the biologically derived methane gas does not produce more than seventeen million sixty thousand seven hundred ten British thermal units, five megawatts, or both.
As used in division (C)(3) of this section, "biologically derived methane gas" has the same meaning as in section 5713.30 of the Revised Code.
(4) Agritourism. As used in division (C)(4) of this section, "agritourism" has the same meaning as in section 901.80 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 519.21.  (A) Except as otherwise provided in division (B) of this section, sections 519.02 to 519.25 of the Revised Code confer no power on any township zoning commission, board of township trustees, or board of zoning appeals to prohibit the use of any land for agricultural purposes or the construction or use of buildings or structures incident to the use for agricultural purposes of the land on which such buildings or structures are located, including buildings or structures that are used primarily for vinting and selling wine and that are located on land any part of which is used for viticulture, and no zoning certificate shall be required for any such building or structure.
(B) A township zoning resolution, or an amendment to such resolution, may in any platted subdivision approved under section 711.05, 711.09, or 711.10 of the Revised Code, or in any area consisting of fifteen or more lots approved under section 711.131 of the Revised Code that are contiguous to one another, or some of which are contiguous to one another and adjacent to one side of a dedicated public road, and the balance of which are contiguous to one another and adjacent to the opposite side of the same dedicated public road regulate:
(1) Agriculture on lots of one acre or less;
(2) Buildings or structures incident to the use of land for agricultural purposes on lots greater than one acre but not greater than five acres by: set back building lines; height; and size;
(3) Dairying and animal and poultry husbandry on lots greater than one acre but not greater than five acres when at least thirty-five per cent of the lots in the subdivision are developed with at least one building, structure, or improvement that is subject to real property taxation or that is subject to the tax on manufactured and mobile homes under section 4503.06 of the Revised Code. After thirty-five per cent of the lots are so developed, dairying and animal and poultry husbandry shall be considered nonconforming use of land and buildings or structures pursuant to section 519.19 of the Revised Code.
Division (B) of this section confers no power on any township zoning commission, board of township trustees, or board of zoning appeals to regulate agriculture, buildings or structures, and dairying and animal and poultry husbandry on lots greater than five acres.
(C) Such sections confer no power on any township zoning commission, board of township trustees, or board of zoning appeals to prohibit in a district zoned for agricultural, industrial, residential, or commercial uses, the use of any land for:
(1) A farm market where fifty per cent or more of the gross income received from the market is derived from produce raised on farms owned or operated by the market operator in a normal crop year. However, a board of township trustees, as provided in section 519.02 of the Revised Code, may regulate such factors pertaining to farm markets as size of the structure, size of parking areas that may be required, set back building lines, and egress or ingress, where such regulation is necessary to protect the public health and safety.
(2) Biodiesel production, biomass energy production, or electric or heat energy production if the land on which the production facility is located qualifies as land devoted exclusively to agricultural use under sections 5713.30 to 5713.37 of the Revised Code for real property tax purposes. As used in division (C)(2) of this section, "biodiesel," "biomass energy," and "electric or heat energy" have the same meanings as in section 5713.30 of the Revised Code.
(3) Biologically derived methane gas production if the land on which the production facility is located qualifies as land devoted exclusively to agricultural use under sections 5713.30 to 5713.37 of the Revised Code for real property tax purposes and if the facility that produces the biologically derived methane gas does not produce more than seventeen million sixty thousand seven hundred ten British thermal units, five megawatts, or both.
As used in division (C)(3) of this section, "biologically derived methane gas" has the same meaning as in section 5713.30 of the Revised Code.
(4) Agritourism. As used in division (C)(4) of this section, "agritourism" has the same meaning as in section 901.80 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 901.80.  (A) As used in this section:
(1) "Agritourism" means an educational, entertainment, or recreational activity that takes place on a working farm or agricultural or horticultural operation and that allows or invites members of the general public to observe, participate in, or enjoy that activity. "Agritourism" includes historic and cultural agriculture activities, self-pick farms, or farmer's markets when they are conducted in conjunction with farm operations.
(2) "Agritourism provider" means a person who owns, operates, provides, or sponsors an agritourism activity or an employee of such a person who engages in or provides agritourism activities whether or not for a fee.
(3) "Participant" means an individual, other than an agritourism provider, who observes or participates in an agritourism activity.
(4) "Risk inherent in an agritourism activity" means a danger or condition that is an integral part of an agritourism activity, including all of the following:
(a) The surface and subsurface conditions of land;
(b) The behavior of wild or domestic animals;
(c) The ordinary dangers associated with structures or equipment ordinarily used in farming or ranching operations;
(d) The possibility of contracting illness resulting from physical contact with animals, animal feed, animal waste, or surfaces contaminated by animal waste;
(e) The possibility that a participant may act in a negligent manner, including by failing to follow instructions given by the agritourism provider or by failing to exercise reasonable caution while engaging in the agritourism activity that may contribute to injury to that participant or another participant.
(B) In a civil action, an agritourism provider is immune from liability for any harm a participant sustains during an agritourism activity if the participant is harmed as a result of a risk inherent in an agritourism activity.
(C) An agritourism provider is not immune from civil liability for harm sustained by a participant if either of the following applies:
(1) The agritourism provider acts with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant and proximately causes harm to the participant.
(2) The agritourism provider purposefully causes harm to the participant.
(D) The director of agriculture may adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code establishing standards for amusement rides at agritourism locations that are consistent with standards adopted by the American camp association.
Sec. 1711.57.  Sections 1711.50 to 1711.57 1711.56 of the Revised Code do not apply to any of the following:
(A) A private facility;
(B) A single-passenger coin-operated ride that is manually, mechanically, or electrically operated, is customarily placed either singly or in groups in a public location, and does not normally require the supervision or services of an amusement ride operator;
(C) Nonmechanized playground equipment, including swings, stationary spring-mounted animal features, rider-propelled merry-go-rounds, climbers, slides, rock climbing walls, trampolines, and swinging gates, except where an admission fee is charged for usage or an admission fee is charged to areas where such equipment is located;
(D) Devices regulated or licensed by the federal aviation administration or the federal railroad administration in the United States department of transportation, the department of transportation, or the bureau of motor vehicles in the department of public safety;
(E) Vessels regulated by the department of natural resources under Chapters 1547. and 1548. of the Revised Code or under the jurisdiction of the United States coast guard;
(F) Tractors, trucks, or similar vehicles at competition events;
(G) Automobiles or motorcycles at competition events;
(H) Animals ridden in competitive events or shows;
(I) Physical fitness devices;
(J) Devices to which the definition of "safe operation" in section 1711.50 of the Revised Code does not apply as determined by the director of agriculture, including mechanized bulls, surfboards, zip lines, vertical wind tunnels, skateboard or bicycle rodeo devices, cable wakeboard or ski facilities, or other devices that are not intended or manufactured to secure the rider from threat of physical danger, harm, or loss;
(K) Amusement rides that are subject to rules adopted under division (D) of section 901.80 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 5713.30.  As used in sections 5713.31 to 5713.37 and 5715.01 of the Revised Code:
(A) "Land devoted exclusively to agricultural use" means:
(1) Tracts, lots, or parcels of land totaling not less than ten acres to which, during the three calendar years prior to the year in which application is filed under section 5713.31 of the Revised Code, and through the last day of May of such year, one or more of the following apply:
(a) The tracts, lots, or parcels of land were devoted exclusively to commercial animal or poultry husbandry, aquaculture, algaculture meaning the farming of algae, apiculture, the production for a commercial purpose of timber, field crops, tobacco, fruits, vegetables, nursery stock, ornamental trees, sod, or flowers, or the growth of timber for a noncommercial purpose, if the land on which the timber is grown is contiguous to or part of a parcel of land under common ownership that is otherwise devoted exclusively to agricultural use.
(b) The tracts, lots, or parcels of land were devoted exclusively to biodiesel production, biomass energy production, electric or heat energy production, or biologically derived methane gas production if the land on which the production facility is located is contiguous to or part of a parcel of land under common ownership that is otherwise devoted exclusively to agricultural use, provided that at least fifty per cent of the feedstock used in the production was derived from parcels of land under common ownership or leasehold.
(c) The tracts, lots, or parcels of land were devoted to and qualified for payments or other compensation under a land retirement or conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government.
(d) The tracts, lots, or parcels of land were devoted exclusively to agritourism if the land on which the agritourism is located is contiguous to or part of a parcel of land under common ownership that is otherwise devoted exclusively to agricultural use.
(2) Tracts, lots, or parcels of land totaling less than ten acres that, during the three calendar years prior to the year in which application is filed under section 5713.31 of the Revised Code and through the last day of May of such year, were devoted exclusively to agritourism, commercial animal or poultry husbandry, aquaculture, algaculture meaning the farming of algae, apiculture, the production for a commercial purpose of field crops, tobacco, fruits, vegetables, timber, nursery stock, ornamental trees, sod, or flowers where such activities produced an average yearly gross income of at least twenty-five hundred dollars during such three-year period or where there is evidence of an anticipated gross income of such amount from such activities during the tax year in which application is made, or were devoted to and qualified for payments or other compensation under a land retirement or conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the federal government;
(3) A tract, lot, or parcel of land taxed under sections 5713.22 to 5713.26 of the Revised Code is not land devoted exclusively to agricultural use;.
(4) Tracts, lots, or parcels of land, or portions thereof that, during the previous three consecutive calendar years have been designated as land devoted exclusively to agricultural use, but such land has been lying idle or fallow for up to one year and no action has occurred to such land that is either inconsistent with the return of it to agricultural production or converts the land devoted exclusively to agricultural use as defined in this section. Such land shall remain designated as land devoted exclusively to agricultural use provided that beyond one year, but less than three years, the landowner proves good cause as determined by the board of revision.
"Land devoted exclusively to agricultural use" includes tracts, lots, or parcels of land or portions thereof that are used for conservation practices, provided that the tracts, lots, or parcels of land or portions thereof comprise twenty-five per cent or less of the total of the tracts, lots, or parcels of land that satisfy the criteria established in division (A)(1), (2), or (4) of this section together with the tracts, lots, or parcels of land or portions thereof that are used for conservation practices.
(B) "Conversion of land devoted exclusively to agricultural use" means any of the following:
(1) The failure of the owner of land devoted exclusively to agricultural use during the next preceding calendar year to file a renewal application under section 5713.31 of the Revised Code without good cause as determined by the board of revision;
(2) The failure of the new owner of such land to file an initial application under that section without good cause as determined by the board of revision;
(3) The failure of such land or portion thereof to qualify as land devoted exclusively to agricultural use for the current calendar year as requested by an application filed under such section;
(4) The failure of the owner of the land described in division (A)(4) of this section to act on such land in a manner that is consistent with the return of the land to agricultural production after three years.
The construction or installation of an energy facility, as defined in section 5727.01 of the Revised Code, on a portion of a tract, lot, or parcel of land devoted exclusively to agricultural use shall not cause the remaining portion of the tract, lot, or parcel to be regarded as a conversion of land devoted exclusively to agricultural use if the remaining portion of the tract, lot, or parcel continues to be devoted exclusively to agricultural use.
(C) "Tax savings" means the difference between the dollar amount of real property taxes levied in any year on land valued and assessed in accordance with its current agricultural use value and the dollar amount of real property taxes that would have been levied upon such land if it had been valued and assessed for such year in accordance with Section 2 of Article XII, Ohio Constitution.
(D) "Owner" includes, but is not limited to, any person owning a fee simple, fee tail, or life estate or a buyer on a land installment contract.
(E) "Conservation practices" are practices used to abate soil erosion as required in the management of the farming operation, and include, but are not limited to, the installation, construction, development, planting, or use of grass waterways, terraces, diversions, filter strips, field borders, windbreaks, riparian buffers, wetlands, ponds, and cover crops for that purpose.
(F) "Wetlands" has the same meaning as in section 6111.02 of the Revised Code.
(G) "Biodiesel" means a mono-alkyl ester combustible liquid fuel that is derived from vegetable oils or animal fats or any combination of those reagents and that meets the American society for testing and materials specification D6751-03a for biodiesel fuel (B100) blend stock distillate fuels.
(H) "Biologically derived methane gas" means gas from the anaerobic digestion of organic materials, including animal waste and agricultural crops and residues.
(I) "Biomass energy" means energy that is produced from organic material derived from plants or animals and available on a renewable basis, including, but not limited to, agricultural crops, tree crops, crop by-products, and residues.
(J) "Electric or heat energy" means electric or heat energy generated from manure, cornstalks, soybean waste, or other agricultural feedstocks.
(K) "Agritourism" has the same meaning as in section 901.80 of the Revised Code.
Section 2.  That existing sections 303.21, 519.21, 1711.57, and 5713.30 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
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