Residents Butt Heads On Change of Livestock Ordinance (article)

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Posted by GoatWorld on December 04, 2002 at 05:52:10:

Residents butt heads on change of livestock ordinance

By James Quirk Jr.
The Hawk Eye

Two Burlington (Iowa) residents on opposite sides of the chicken wire fence in the city's livestock ordinance issue expressed their thoughts Monday to the City Council.

"A crowing rooster is more annoying than a barking dog," said Don Harter, 2203 S. Fourth St., in opposition of the existing ordinance, which allows a resident to keep livestock on his or her property as long as it doesn't come within 50 feet of another residential property.

Resident Max Lawson, however, has raised pygmy goats on his 1801 Grube St. property for years without complaint and believes the city's nuisance ordinance should be able to quell any livestock concerns.

Mayor Tim Scott who was absent from Monday's regular meeting recently received a complaint from a resident concerned that the grain his neighbor uses to feed horses attracts rodents.

Harter told the council the livestock ordinance is outdated and should be changed.

City officials are updating the city's code and plan to establish a permit system that would require residents to pay a fee to keep livestock on their properties. They also are considering extending the distance from neighbors to 75 feet.

The council suggested during a meeting last week that the distance should be increased to 100 feet, but also wanted residential input on the subject before making a decision.

"We've heard from a number of people that it (the livestock ordinance) is not reasonable," City Manager Bruce Slagle said. "We need to look at that and update the code."

Councilman Rod Kellogg called the issue a "kind of nebulous type of situation," adding the council will continue to look at different ways to address it.

Lawson believes that having ponies on his property is a sort of "neighborhood service" because it gives children an opportunity to pet and feed the animals.

"Many of the (complaints) that have come up in the past were handled by the nuisance ordinance," he said. "The nuisance ordinance ought to take care of (the complaints). If it's not broke, don't fix it."

Lawson added that a permit fee to keep livestock and extending the distance requirement would serve as an inconvenience to him because raising the ponies in itself is not a moneymaking endeavor.

Police Chief Dave Wunnenberg said that residents with livestock complaints can contact the police and file an anonymous report.

If an investigation into the complaint reveals there is a problem with a noisy rooster or animal droppings, the police can resolve the issue without the neighbor who complained having reveal his or her identity, he said.

The council plans to revisit the issue again, Kellogg said, and encouraged residents to voice their opinions.

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