Urbancrest tables farm animal legislation

By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

The village of Urbancrest has taken bovine, poultry and rabbits off of the table – for now.

At the August meeting, village council unanimously approved the removal of proposed legislation that would prohibit residents from possessing or raising farm animals and livestock on their property.

The reason for the removal had little to do with residential outrage – so far, only a handful of residents have expressed a formal opinion on the matter – and more to do with format and expansion.

According to law director Rodd Lawrence, the proposed legislation was not in the correct legal format, which would make it easier for residents to dispute council prohibitions in court.

“It needs to be revisited as it currently stands,” he told the council.

Additionally, code enforcement officer Randall Bogue proposed making the legislation broader. The updated draft he submitted for consideration includes exceptions and allowances for a number of small farm animals and registered service animals.

Under that proposal, council would be able to set limits on the number of small farm animals, such as chickens and rabbits, a property owner could possess. They would also be able to set living conditions for the animals to keep potential unsanitary issues at bay.

“In speaking with the residents of the village,” he said after the meeting, “they are in favor of allowing some small farm animals as a source of food. The residents, like council members, just want to see that they do not become a problem either in number or noxious conditions.”

Upon the removal of the legislation, members of the health and safety committee said they would revise the legislation and reintroduce it at a later date.

In other news, a representative with the Franklin County Auditor’s Office was in attendance to discuss the upcoming triennial update. According to Zach Manifold, the deputy chief of staff, residents throughout the county will soon be receiving information in the mail regarding revised property valuations. He said if residents are in agreement with the assessment, they do not have to take further action. If there are disputes, residents would have to make an appointment to speak with an appraiser.

He said those meetings will be conducted from Sept. 1 through Oct. 3 and most can be done online through Zoom. There will also be a few satellite locations throughout the county for meetings.

Residents who wish to schedule an appointment with an appraiser, or to learn more about property values, can visit www.your2020homevalue.org.

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