By Dedra Cordle
Legislation regarding the residential usage of livestock is back on the table in the village of Urbancrest.
At its meeting on Dec. 8, village council unanimously approved a motion to recall a tabled ordinance that prohibits residents from possessing or raising livestock on their property. In addition to approving the motion, council agreed that it should not be passed via emergency declaration and that it should go through the standard reading procedure.
The village council has been debating the appropriate use of livestock within the community for more than a year. Concerns started to arise with the constant call of a rooster in the mornings and then were compounded when a pig was spotted in the area. In the case of the latter came complaints that the owners were allowing the animal to wander off property where it would defecate on theirs.
To quell concerns and address the question as to which animals were and were not permitted, legislation to prohibit the possession or raising of livestock was introduced this summer. However, the following month saw that legislation tabled to clarify legalese and make sure it was in compliance with guidelines set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The action taken on Dec. 8 followed the release of a community survey conducted by members of the health and safety committee. According to chairwoman Alicia Wiggins, the members of the committee went to more than 100 households over a four-day period last month to gauge their opinions regarding a livestock ban. She reported that 60 percent of residents interviewed stated that they were in favor of the proposed legislation while 37 percent stated they were not in favor of the ban.
Resident Donna Bogue said she fell into the latter category, though she added that her household was not interviewed. At the meeting, she said she felt the committee members did not conduct a comprehensive survey as there were many people who were in favor of allowing residents to raise small animals such as ducks and chickens.
“I believe the survey is in direct conflict with what the community wants,” she said.
Bogue cited an online survey that was conducted during a comprehensive plan meeting regarding the future landscape of the village.
Wiggins said that while they were not able to reach every household – some did not answer their doors and those who live in the Bending Brook Apartment complex were not interviewed – they felt the results were an accurate representation of the wishes of the community.
The Dec. 8 meeting saw the first reading for the proposed legislation to prohibit the residential possession or raising of livestock in the village. It will have its second reading in January and its third and final reading in February, pending any legislative issues that may arise.
In other news, council approved a resolution that allowed meetings to be conducted virtually until further notice due to the ongoing pandemic. Residents are encouraged to visit the village’s website at www.villageofurbancrestoh.us 24 hours before the meetings for dial-in information on the Cisco Webex platform.
Council also approved the reappointment of street commissioner Jerome Johnson, code enforcement officer Randall Bogue and law director Rodd S. Lawrence at the meeting.