City Council MEETING




Monday, December 13, 2010

In the Issue of Extra Animal Code Enforcement Expense

Code Enforcement:  In my research I found over and over again commentary by pleasantly surprised public officials who reported little or no increase in animal nuisance call.  Three communities: Longmont, CO;  Montgomery, OH, and Columbia, MO, all have stated publicly that they have few if any complaints. 

Regarding the extra cost of animal control,  
Were they (the NEAC) presented with the fact that virtually no code violations have been a problem in cities across the nation who have good hen / animal keeping ordinances? 
Relevant information: Here are 3 examples of surprised government officials who have see virtually no animal control expense increase in their communities.
Code Enforcement and Burdens on Government
According to the Montgomery Police, Montgomery hasn’t received a chickenrelated
complaint since the 70s, when a family in the Shadowhill neighborhood kept a
rooster and the city received noise
related complaints. We know that there are at
least two families in Montgomery keeping chickens currently; the police have
received no complaints.
Currently both Madeira and Wyoming allow chickens (under similar ordinances to Montgomery’s current ordinance), do have households raising chickens, and have no complaints related to chickens. There is no reason to believe that chickens in Montgomery will generate any more complaints than those in Madeira and Wyoming.
CFM’s Proposed Ordinance forbids roosters and doesn’t require inspections or
permits. Such an ordinance will generate no significant burden on government. In the absence of complaints – which experience both here in Montgomery and in similar communities such as Wyoming and Madeira has shown is the likeliest outcome – will generate NO burden on government.
The chickens are popular among the family’s neighbors. When one recently
expressed an interest in raising chickens herself, Cati O’Keefe decided she’d better
check into the legalities before giving any advice. It costs quite a bit in both money
and time to get started, and while she’d been willing to risk it herself based on her
own perusal of online ordinances, she didn’t want to take that risk for anyone else.
Her inquiry sparked this new ordinance. The police, far from having received any
complaints, were unaware there were chickens being kept in Montgomery. CFM has
since learned of another household in a neighborhood not far from City Hall keeping
chickens. They prefer to remain under the radar, though, as they and their
neighbors are very attached to their hens. Montgomery, OH Ordinance proposal
Outlaw chickens
In the first two months since the chicken ordinance passed, there were only two substantiated complaints about violations, according to the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Gerry Worley, an environmental health manager who is in charge of animal control for the city, said one involved the Hong Kong Market. The business had ducks — which are illegal — mixed in with chickens, but the fowl were all gone when it came time for the two-week follow-up inspection.
The other complaint was against a West Ash resident who, his neighbors said, allowed his chickens to fly the coop and trespass into their yard. His court date was set for March 19, but the city prosecutor declined to prosecute the case.
Two complaints in two months isn’t too bad, said Worley, who is also working on a plan to address what to do with “unwanted” chickens. 
LONGMONT -- All that talk that backyard chickens would produce more work for this city's code-enforcement and animal-control officers turns out to be nothing more than clucking.
A report presented by the Longmont city staff to the City Council last week said that since February 2009, when backyard chickens were first allowed on a trial basis, the effect on the workload of code-enforcement and animal-control officers has been nil.
"The biggest concern was the impact on animal-control officers, but almost two years later, they're saying it really hasn't been a problem for them," said Longmont City Planner Ben Ortiz.
After hearing the report and strong support from residents Tuesday night, the council voted 4-3 in favor of extending the city's chicken ordinance and removing the limit on the number of permits that can be issued. Mayor Bryan Baum and council members Gabe Santos and Alex Sammoury dissented.
Read more: Despite earlier brooding, backyard chickens cause few problems in Longmont - Boulder Daily Camera

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