Oil and Gas Alert: Local Initiative Power is Limited by the Home Rule Amendment: City of Broadview Heights Community Bill of Rights is Invalid

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The Eighth District Court of Appeals recently struck down the Broadview Heights Community Bill of Rights as an invalid exercise of home rule authority.  The Community Bill of Rights, also known as Article XV of the City Charter, banned new oil and gas drilling and limited operation of current wells in the city.  It also made it illegal to challenge Article XV as preempted by state law.   

With its decision in Mother’s Against Drilling in our Neighborhood v. State of Ohio, released March 3, 2016, the Eighth District Court of Appeals found:

Applying the analytical framework laid out in Morrison, the Court concluded that Article XV is “an invalid exercise of the City’s home rule authority, and is therefore preempted by R.C. 1509.”  (Paragraph 30.)

Because Article XV is similar to citizen’s initiatives presented in other cities and counties across Ohio, the decision in this case provides important guidance on the limits of initiative power, and the application of long-standing jurisprudence on home rule, including the recent Morrison decision.

A PDF of the decision is available here.

For more information about the MADION decision or ballot initiatives, contact Lisa Babish Forbes (216.479.6105), Aaron Williams (216.479.6180) or your Vorys lawyer.