Either a blessing or a curse, owners and operators of marinas in Ohio no longer have to worry about State or local health departments looking over their shoulders. With the repeal of Section 3733.22 of the Ohio Revised Code, health departments no longer have the authority to provide oversight or assistance to Ohio’s marina operations.
Since the law’s enactment in 1975, anyone who wanted to construct or expand a marina had to apply for a license and pass an inspection. Any existing marina had to have its license renewed each March. Health department officials made sure the facilities were safe and sanitary so as not to create a health hazard or a nuisance. The principal goal was to protect Ohioans using recreational vehicles or those in the surrounding areas from unsafe drinking water and pollution hazards caused by improperly disposed wastes and other unsanitary conditions.
But in September of this past year, the State’s authority to oversee operations and issue licenses was repealed. Some local boards of health have sent out advisory notices to nearby marina owners, suggesting that they use the former regulations as guidelines for continued operation. Time will tell how effective the honor system is at keeping marinas safe and sanitary.
If your association includes a marina, the board should adopt operating rules and requirements to maintain a safe and inviting facility that serves to protect owners and guests as well as property values. And, if your association does not contain a marina but one is nearby, it still may be worth your while to keep an eye on the surrounding water—you might be the only one.