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(a) Any initiative petition that proposes a change in the zoning code of the City or any change in the zoning map of the City shall first be filed by the petitioner with the Clerk of Council to be held for a period of 10 days. After the initiative petition has been filed with the Clerk of Council for a period of 10 days, the petitioners may circulate the petition filed with the Clerk of Council.
(b) After the petitioners have submitted their petitions to the Clerk of Council, and upon completion of circulation within the City, the Clerk of Council shall submit such petitions to the Board of Elections to determine if there are sufficient valid signatures of electors of the City. The Board of Elections shall certify whether such petitions contain the signatures of not less than 10 percent of the number of electors who voted for Governor at the most recent general election for the Office of Governor in the City. In the event such initiative petitions do not contain sufficient signatures to meet or exceed 10 percent of the number of electors that voted for Governor at the most recent general election for the office of Governor in the City, the petitioners may seek additional signatures of electors of the City.
(c) Once the initiative petitions are certified by the Board of Elections to have not less than 10 percent of the number of electors who voted for Governor at the most recent general election for the office of Governor in the City, the initiative shall be placed on the agenda for the next regular Council meeting. At the first regular Council meeting at which the initiative is considered, a public hearing before Council shall be set with at least 10 days advance notice. The notice shall conform to the requirements for notification of public hearings whenever any amendment to the zoning code and/or map of the City is being proposed as provided in the zoning code of the City. The public hearing shall be held at a regular Council meeting.
(d) The Ordinance before Council shall be read at three consecutive regular meetings and shall not be read at any special meeting. At the third regular meeting, and after the public hearing on the initiative proposal, Council shall determine if the initiative petitions, and the process of placing such initiative before Council, comply with the Charter and, to the extent applicable, the Ohio Revised Code. The form of the petition and circulation and signing of the petitions by the circulators shall conform to the requirements of the Ohio Revised Code.
(e) Council shall act upon the initiative petitions to determine whether the petitions are to be certified to the Board of Elections for consideration at the next regularly held general or primary election no later than the third reading and the Council may only deny certification if they find the petitions are not sufficient and valid by specifying how the petitions do not comply with the Charter and/or the Ohio Revised Code.
(f) Upon adoption of any Ordinance to certify the initiative to the Board of Elections, the Clerk of Council, no later than five days after passage of such Ordinance, shall certify the Ordinance to the Board of Elections and deliver the initiative petitions to the Board of Elections requesting that the initiative be placed on the ballot of the next regularly held primary or general election occurring more than 90 days after adoption of the Ordinance certifying the initiative to the Board of Elections. Any Ordinance approving certification of the initiative to the Board of Elections to be placed on the ballot to be considered by the electors shall take effect immediately upon final action by Council, and the Clerk of Council shall forthwith certify the Ordinance for delivery to the Board of Elections. Council shall not dispense with three readings of the Ordinance at three consecutive regular Council meetings to submit an initiative to the Board of Elections, and adoption of any such ordinance cannot be accomplished by resolution or motion.
(Approved by voters 11-5-2019)