Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of Ohio

Dedicated to cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio

"A cemetery may be considered as abandoned when all or practically all of the bodies have been Removed therefrom and no bodies have been buried therein for a great many years, and the cemetery has been so long neglected as entirely to lose its identity as such, and is no longer known, recognized and respected by the public as a cemetery. 1953 OAG 2978."

Monday, May 16, 2016

Learning More about "Limited Home Rule Townships" in Ohio

Sharing this news story entitled:

By Denise G. Callahan
Staff Writer - "Journal-News" in Butler County, Ohio
Abstracted from the article:
"Townships in this state are required to maintain public cemeteries — West Chester’s cemetery budget is $263,433 this year — and the trustees were concerned they would be responsible if someone ever abandoned a property that had a family cemetery on it."
“My concern is if those cemeteries become abandoned, they then become the responsibility of the township,” Trustee George Lang said. “I’m trying to avoid a future liability for the taxpayers. That’s purely it.”
"Township administrator Judi Boyko told the trustees recently she doesn’t believe they have any situations pending like the one Lang described, and they aren’t going to take an inventory, but an attorney general’s opinion allows the ban so they wanted to give themselves some extra protection.
In 2007, the attorney general’s office decided townships could not ban private cemeteries. The prosecutor in Fairfield County asked the question again in 2014 and the attorney general said townships with limited home rule authority, like West Chester, do have the power."
“A board of trustees of a limited home rule township may enact a resolution prohibiting the burial of human remains in private or family cemeteries within the unincorporated territory of the township provided that the board of township trustees determines the resolution is in the interest of the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare of the public,” the opinion reads. “Relevant factors that a board of township trustees may consider in determining whether to enact such a resolution include, among others, the conservation of safe, underground water resources and the preservation of property values within the township.”



Ohio Revised Code:

504.01 Procedure for adopting limited home rule government.

"What Does it Mean to be A Home Rule Township?"

"Limited Home Rule gives the township the ability to enact legislation in a broad range of areas that it cannot do as a statutory township. Currently, the only powers a statutory township has includes the adoption of township zoning, creation of a police and/or fire district, imposition of civil fines for property maintenance and/or traffic violations, and general maintenance of roads and cemeteries within the township (excluding county roadways). That’s it, nothing more, nothing less."