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General Ohio University Discussion/Alumni Events
Topic:  RE: The College Tour - Ohio University Athens

Topic:  RE: The College Tour - Ohio University Athens
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BillyTheCat
General User

Member Since: 10/6/2012
Post Count: 8,314

Status: Online

  Message Not Read  RE: The College Tour - Ohio University Athens
   Posted: 8/23/2022 2:46:02 PM 
rpbobcat wrote:
BillyTheCat wrote:
RPBobcat,

This line says it all: OHIO UNIVERSITY insist that it is EXEMPT from Flood Plain regulations.

This presents a dilemma for the city of Athens because OU insists that it's exempt from local flood-plain rules. Both the city and the state disagree, and the state has been pressuring Athens to crack down on OU.

In a letter to Athens Mayor Ric Abel on July 6, Michael Gease, senior environmental specialist with the state's Floodplain Management Program, stated that in the absence of any definite information demonstrating that OU is exempt from local flood rules, "it must be assumed that Ohio University is subject to local regulation, and any development activities that cannot be demonstrated in compliance must be assumed to be in violation."


Also, in this article OU Legal Counsel John Burns admits the university refused flood plain regulations on Grover Center.....Not much more that I need to know that confirms my comments that the University largely does what it wants to with their property.


I asked a friend of mine, who is a Certified Flood Plain Manager about this.

She said she never heard of any entity being exempt from Flood Plain Rules.

Athens Code (Title 25) is pretty straightforward on this.
(Just google Athens Code and its right there)

Its very well written and thorough.

It sites Article XVIII ,Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution as the underlying authority.

Could have saved myself a lot of typing and just referenced the ordinance.

Kind of summarizes my last few posts.

Have no idea what O.U.'s rationale is for ignoring it or why Athens or the State are coming down hard on O.U.










You obviously never paid attention when you were on campus. OHIO University often ignores the city. As evidenced by the words in the article from the Universities Legal Council where they do not have to abide by local rules. This has been going on forever. I get it ain’t “text book”, but textbooks are not always 100% applications in real world issues either.
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BillyTheCat
General User

Member Since: 10/6/2012
Post Count: 8,314

Status: Online

  Message Not Read  RE: The College Tour - Ohio University Athens
   Posted: 8/23/2022 2:49:40 PM 
rpbobcat wrote:
BillyTheCat wrote:
RPBobcat,

This line says it all: OHIO UNIVERSITY insist that it is EXEMPT from Flood Plain regulations.

This presents a dilemma for the city of Athens because OU insists that it's exempt from local flood-plain rules. Both the city and the state disagree, and the state has been pressuring Athens to crack down on OU.

In a letter to Athens Mayor Ric Abel on July 6, Michael Gease, senior environmental specialist with the state's Floodplain Management Program, stated that in the absence of any definite information demonstrating that OU is exempt from local flood rules, "it must be assumed that Ohio University is subject to local regulation, and any development activities that cannot be demonstrated in compliance must be assumed to be in violation."


Also, in this article OU Legal Counsel John Burns admits the university refused flood plain regulations on Grover Center.....Not much more that I need to know that confirms my comments that the University largely does what it wants to with their property.


I asked a friend of mine, who is a Certified Flood Plain Manager about this.

She said she never heard of any entity being exempt from Flood Plain Rules.

Athens Code (Title 25) is pretty straightforward on this.
(Just google Athens Code and its right there)

Its very well written and thorough.

It sites Article XVIII ,Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution as the underlying authority.

Could have saved myself a lot of typing and just referenced the ordinance.

Kind of summarizes my last few posts.

Have no idea what O.U.'s rationale is for ignoring it or why Athens or the State are coming down hard on O.U.










And it’s easy to understand why the city doesn’t come down hard on the University. It’s because so many arrangements that exist between the two, it’s a delicate balance. Like a few years ago the battle over OxBow Lane getting opened up, was basically over OU withholding funds for a new fire truck for the city of Athens that covered campus. That was a fun time.
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rpbobcat
General User

Member Since: 4/28/2006
Location: Rochelle Park, NJ
Post Count: 3,260

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: The College Tour - Ohio University Athens
   Posted: 8/23/2022 3:52:23 PM 
BillyTheCat wrote:


You obviously never paid attention when you were on campus. OHIO University often ignores the city. As evidenced by the words in the article from the Universities Legal Council where they do not have to abide by local rules. This has been going on forever. I get it ain’t “text book”, but textbooks are not always 100% applications in real world issues either.


When I was at O.U. in the 1970's , the only "local" news we got was The Post.

They never had anything about issues between O.U. and Athens.

As far as "abiding by local Rules", as I posted, Athens' "Flood Damage Prevention" Ordinance references the underlying authority granted by the State of Ohio Constitution.

Plus, Flood Plains are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government.

Obviously ,for the reasons you stated, Athens may do some "saber rattling",
but right now, that seems to be as far as they'll go.

Only way that may change, is if, down the road, something bad happens.






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OhioCatFan
General User



Member Since: 12/20/2004
Location: Athens, OH
Post Count: 12,491

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: The College Tour - Ohio University Athens
   Posted: 8/23/2022 5:55:45 PM 
I doubt that this is what they are relying on, but the original university charter by the territorial legislature (as American Western University) and later the state legislature charter (as The Ohio University) were granted under the authority of the Confederation Congress, whose authority was passed on to Congress under the Constitution after its ratification. As a result university lands are part of a federal land grant. My father had an attorney friend in Athens who opined often this gave the Ohio University Board of Trustees legal authority greater than any other state university’s trustees. OSU’s land grant under the later Morrill Act, while providing boatloads of money did not provide in its legal wording the same level of control of land. This same attorney felt the the sales of university lands, authorized only by the state legislature, not the Federal government, were illegal, and that, therefore, all the original university lands still technically belonged to the university. Remember, the land grant gave the university all the land in the original larger borders of Athens and Alexander townships. This could be quite a bargaining chip if ever used. Again, I doubt that this answers the question at hand, but it does provide background for the body politic that is the Ohio University Board of Trustees.


"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

Note: My avatar is the national colors of the 78th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, which are now preserved in a climate controlled vault at the Ohio History Connection. Learn more about the old 78th at: http://www.78ohio.org

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rpbobcat
General User

Member Since: 4/28/2006
Location: Rochelle Park, NJ
Post Count: 3,260

Status: Offline

  Message Not Read  RE: The College Tour - Ohio University Athens
   Posted: 8/24/2022 7:27:18 AM 
BillyTheCat wrote:


Interesting look at the buildings on campus that are in the flood plain, especially when looking at the number (very few) that are "raised" out of the flood plain. Essentially, 90% of campus is in the flood plain and not elevated out of the flood plain.

https://www.ohio.edu/policy/44-117




What I found interesting about this was that the Policy became effective on June 3,2009.

That's 6 months before the current FEMA FIRM Map was in place (12/18/09).

So, in the 12+ years since the current FIRM Map became effective ,O.U. never felt it necessary to update this Policy.

Then again, since O.U. says it doesn't have to follow Flood Plain regulations,
it really doesn't make much of a difference.

I wonder what other "local rules " O.U. feels it is exempt from following ?



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