(a)   Regulation. The hunting of deer within the City of North Ridgeville shall be allowed and regulated as provided in this section. In addition, all State law and regulation of the hunting of deer and use of longbows or crossbows as appear primarily in the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code shall also apply to every person who hunts or uses such hunting implements in the City of North Ridgeville. Hunting in the City of North Ridgeville other than that specifically authorized by this section, or with any weapon other than a longbow or crossbow is and shall remain strictly prohibited.
   (b)   Registration of Land.  Owners of parcels of land who desire their land to be registered for the purpose of hunting deer as provided by this section shall register such parcels annually. With an exception for the first hunting season occurring after or running contemporaneous with the effective date of this section, in which an owner may submit an application for the registration of land at any point before or during the open season,  land may be registered from the end of longbow or crossbow deer hunting season until fourteen (14) days prior to the opening date of the next hunting season. Registration of land shall be for the term defined as the duration of annual hunting season applied for, and shall expire at the end of that annual hunting season.  Registration of land shall require signed approval of both the Chief of Police or the Chief's designee and the Safety Service Director.  Upon approval, all adjacent homeowners shall be provided written notification that the hunting of deer by longbow or crossbow has been authorized for said property. Proof of ownership of a parcel of land proposed for registration shall be required prior to registration. Failure to appropriately register is a violation of this section. The administrative procedure and policy by which applications for the registration of land or for hunting permits are submitted and reviewed shall be established by the Safety Service Director.
   The Safety Service Director or Chief of Police, or the Chief's designee may deny registration based on safety concerns and consideration of some or all of the following factors:
      (1)   Proximity of the property to residential dwellings, residential areas or businesses;
      (2)   The configuration of the hunting area, including but not limited to, the size of the mutual boundaries between the parcels making up the site, the size and shape of the individual parcels, topography, or similar concerns;
      (3)   Proximity to schools, day care facilities or lands used for public or private recreation or assembly;
      (4)   Other reasonably identifiable health or safety concerns.
   Reasons for denial shall be identified and noted by the City in response to a properly submitted application for registration. After a parcel is registered, should circumstances warrant which raise concerns based on any of the factors listed above, or should repeated violations of hunting regulations occur on the registered parcel, permission to register the parcel may be withdrawn for the balance of the hunting season or permanently.   
   (c)   Size of Parcel.  No site comprised of less than five contiguous acres of land shall qualify for registration. Such site may consist of one five or more acre parcel, or of a combination of no more than four individually owned or leased contiguous parcels. Each individual parcel being combined to constitute a five-acre site must contain a minimum of two acres of land. Proof of parcel size and boundaries shall be required prior to registration.
   (d)   Hunting Permit. The Chief of Police or the Chief's designee shall accept only the form issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) as evidence of authorization to hunt on any registered site. This form must be carried by each hunter other than the owner or tenant of the actual parcel of land upon which the individual is located at all times while hunting on the registered site. The form is specific to the site designated by the Chief of Police or the Chief's designee and does not establish permission to hunt on any other site or registered site named therein. A hunter may register separately for more than one site. 
   (e)    Minors. Longbow or crossbow hunters under eighteen (18) years of age who wish to hunt inside City limits must be accompanied by an authorized hunter who is more than eighteen (18) years of age.
   (f)   Violations. Any owner of any portion of the designated site may be held liable for, and may be cited for violations of any requirement of registration. Any owner registering a site under this section shall be equally and mutually culpable for any violations of this section occurring on that site.
   (g)   Required Elevation of Hunting Activity.  All longbow and crossbow hunting of deer on registered sites within the City of North Ridgeville must be carried out from an elevated hunting position which is a minimum of eight (8) feet off the ground.  No shot from a longbow or crossbow may be taken from a position on the ground, or from any other position other than that which is elevated to the stated minimum height.
   (h)   Penalty.  A violation of any requirement under this section is an unclassified misdemeanor with a fine of not more than two hundred dollars ($200.00). Any subsequent violation of this section is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. This section and the requirements and penalties contained herein shall not preempt or supersede any regulations or penalties provided under State law.
(Ord. 4965-2012. Passed 10-15-12.)