Home Rule

House Bill 77 signed by then Governor George Voinovich on June 18, 1991 allowed Townships in the State of Ohio to adopt Limited Home Rule (LHR), following prescribed procedures, outlined in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 504.01. Springfield Township became a Limited Home Rule Township on March 14, 2000 under Resolution 14-2000.

Authorized Powers Under Home Rule
Limited Home Rule permits any legislation not “in conflict with general laws” in the ORC. It allows townships to enact legislation in a broad range of areas not previously allowed as a statutory township. The actual limits of this authority have not been tested by those townships currently operating under the LHR powers.

Authority Included But Not Required
  • Changes in limits in debt issuance:
    • Currently only permitted to indebtedness equal to 5% of total assessed property valuation, up to 10 years without voter approval.
    • Under Limited Home Rule townships can expand debt options. Debt can be incurred up to 10.5% of assessed property value and of the 10.5%, 5.5% can be incurred on a trustee vote. Duration under some instances can be increased to 30 years.
  • Hire an Engineer - LHR gives township’s the authority to hire an independent engineer to work on roadway projects, with the approval from the county engineer. Current practice the county engineer hires on behalf of the township.
  • LHR allows townships to become providers of water and sanitary sewer services under certain conditions and restrictions as spelled out in sections 504.18-20of the ORC.
  • Streamlines enforcement procedures for standard codes, such as Existing Structures Code, through a Civil Fine system. Primary enforcement of such codes would allow violations to be initially processed in the township through the law director, rather than in the Municipal Court, through the county prosecutor.
  • Issue civil fines up to $1,000
  • Allows LHR township law director to bring suits to abate statutory nuisances under ORC Sec. 3767.03. Statutory township can abate such nuisances only if suit is brought by the county prosecutor.
Home Rule Resolutions