Residents Rally Against Council's "War on Animal Keeping"

A standing room only crowd was present for the Public Comments part of the May 25th Planning Commission meeting protesting the Council's Crackdown on Animal Keeping and selective enforcement of City Codes.

General Plan Goals of privacy, large distances between homes, protection of views, and encouragement of animal keeping have suffered under the Council's redevelopment agenda of encouraging Urban Estates at the expense of the rural environment.

In what may have been a first, a Sheriff's Deputy was stationed at the Planning Commission meeting by the City.

A stream of 11 residents commented on limitations on the number of allowed animals and requested the Planning Commission to agendize the matter for a future meeting, except for Karen Vipperman, Chair of Parks and Recreation who cited misinformation and proceeded to read chapter and verse from the Municipal Code.

Karen Vipperman reciting Municipal Code

Others commented on what appeared to them as selective enforcement of City Codes.

For example, one homeowner was cited for too many chickens, yet the developer of an Urban Estate relocated and filled in a running blue line stream, contrary to City, State and Federal Laws, with a city street being flooded in the next rain storm, and received neither sanction nor penalty, and was not required to restore the stream.

Another homeowner was subject to code enforcement action for animals walking around in the setback, while the lot for a future Urban Estate had over 100 yards of soil imported without permit, graded without permits, graded on a neighboring property, and received no sanction or penalty.

A resident who has an agricultural related home business told of being denied a renewal of her business permit, yet Urban Estates, so large that they cannot contain their runoff as required by code and instead channel it onto their neighbors' property or city streets have received over the counter approval of their projects.

One of the speakers was a child, with a kitten, asking for more consideration for animal keeping and animal rescues.

The City Council also recently banned children, and others, from riding their bikes and skateboards at the Park.

The Planning Commission did not agendize any animal keeping ordinances for a future meeting.