Ohio city council to address exotic animals

8/3/2007 7:28:00 AM

By Jodi Brock
Times Editor

The city of Bellbrook will tackle the issue of whether residents can keep certain animals within the city at its next meeting.

Council has set a public hearing for August 27 to discuss an ordinance that would change current city law to read the following: “No person shall keep within the Municipality, any horse, cow, pig, goat, bee or chicken on any parcel of property except in agricultural zoning districts on parcels over five acres; No person shall harbor, maintain or control a wild, dangerous, undomesticated or exotic animal within the City; and that a wild, dangerous, undomesticated or exotic animal is an animal that is not an ordinary household pet and that would be ordinarily confined to a zoo, farm or the wilderness or that otherwise causes fear or offensive odors or noises to the general public.”

City Manager David Hamilton informed council members during the July 23 council meeting that the proposed amendment to current law stems from a recent incident in Kettering where a resident was keeping chickens. After someone complained about the chickens, Kettering’s zoning board ruled that the chickens had to go. When the resident with the chickens appealed to Kettering’s city council, council members affirmed the zoning board’s decision and said that the board had followed city law.

Hamilton said the city is not aiming the proposed amendment at any property in particular, but wanted to address the issue before any problems arise.

Councilman Bob Baird was concerned with adding the word “exotic,” as many animals sold commercially could be considered exotic.

Hamilton said the language was similar to that in the Ohio Revised Code, but admitted that it’s a tough issue to define.

“Hopefully a bear is not a household pet,” said Hamilton.

Councilman Denny Bennett said he’d rather have a chicken living next to him than a snake.

As council set the public hearing to discuss the issue, Councilman Ralph Fussner voted to set the hearing but said he had reservations.

“I think we need to work on the language,” Fussner said….

http://www.tcnewsnet.com/main.asp?SectionID=15&SubSectionID =260&ArticleID=144753&TM=57335.23


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