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Waynesboro City Council to be asked to revisit animal control ordinance

backyard chickens
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Waynesboro City Council will hear from City Manager Mike Hamp Monday with an update on proposed changes to the city animal control ordinance.

The city most recently looked at updating the city code on animals last summer, igniting a community firestorm with proposed provisions that would have placed limits on the number of dogs, cats and chickens city residents could own, and also require licensure for cats akin to licenses already on the books that are required for dogs.

A heated public hearing led to that ordinance being tabled in October, with direction from City Council to staff to go back to the drawing board in terms of code language and provisions.

According to Hamp, the revised draft ordinance that he will present to City Council at a 6:30 p.m. work session will not include limits on the number of dogs and cats that city residents can own, and no licensing requirement for cats.

The proposed revised draft ordinance does include a limit on the number of chickens, at 12, that can be housed in residential areas, requirements for penning chickens, and a prohibition on roosters, with a grandfather provision for roosters already part of a family’s flock.

Swine and goat provisions in the proposed revised draft ordinance are revised, but with less restrictive provisions than had originally been set forth.

“The purpose of these amendments is to establish minimum requirements to protect animal health, the environment, public health and safety, and to acknowledge that while raising chickens is increasingly common, it may be appropriate to regulate certain animal related activities in an urban environment where individuals live in closer proximity,” Hamp said.

Story by Chris Graham

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