Issue 38 City Charter Amendment
November 2015 Passage of Issue 38 Amends City Charter
On November 3, 2015, Worthington voters approved an amendment to the City Charter regarding when zoning laws (ordinances) go into effect and the related right of citizens to petition for a referendum vote on such laws.
is the equivalent of Worthington's local constitution. It provides the framework for how the City City Charter
is organized and governed.
The new Charter provision extends the number of days before changes to the zoning code or rezoning decisions made by City Council go into effect. This allows citizens more time to file a referendum, if there is opposition to the City Council decision.
The amendment went into effect immediately after the certification of election results by the Franklin County Board of Elections.
The amendment DOES the following:
1. Provides a 60-day waiting period from the
date of publication before any ordinances
(local legislation) goes into effect that:
Changes the language in any section of the
City’s zoning code Changes the zoning for any property within
2. Prohibits either of those two types of
ordinances outlined above from being passed
on an emergency basis.
3. Provides that citizens would have the right to
file referendum petitions in accordance with
Ohio law during this 60-day waiting period.
The amendment DOES NOT change the following
No changes have been made to administrative
processes in place for development related decisions,
Board of Zoning Appeals variances
Architectural Review Board approvals
Amendments to Development Plans
Conditional Use approvals
Review and approval of Building or Occupancy permits
The new provision reads:
SECTION 1.04 - REFERENDUM AND EFFECTIVE DATE ON ZONING ORDINANCES OR OTHER ZONING MEASURES.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter, the power of
referendum on any ordinance or other measure passed by the Council
amending the City’s zoning code or changing the zoning for any property
in the City may be exercised in the manner provided by the laws of the
State of Ohio except that the petition may be filed upon passage of any
ordinance or other measure by Council and within sixty (60) days
following publication in order to afford an opportunity during that
period for the filing of referendum petitions thereon.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter, no ordinance or
other measure passed by the Council amending the City’s zoning code or
changing zoning for any property in the City shall go into effect until
sixty (60) days following publication in order to afford an opportunity
during that period for the filing of referendum petitions thereon; nor
shall any such ordinance or measure be passed on an emergency basis.
you have any questions about how this change applies to a specific
project or proposal, please call our Planning and Building Department at