It is because of recent citizen complaints that Lynchburg Village Council is considering an ordinance carrying a $500 fine that would ban residents from keeping poultry and livestock within the village limits, mayor Terry Burden said Tuesday.
Burden said several people had been warned about a similar ordinance already on the books in Lynchburg. But residents didn’t take the warning seriously, Burden said, so it was suggested that the fine be increased and a new ordinance passed and enforced.
Several citizens complaints stemmed from one resident who was throwing dead chickens on a pile and leaving them there, according to Burden, in addition to others complaining about chickens crowing.
“It’s just not a healthy situation. It was brought up and I said just make it no livestock or poultry,” Burden said. “That way we’ll have no smells, no chickens crowing, or anything like that.”
Burden said that while he was not sure how much of a fine the former ordinance carried, he estimated it was around $50.
The new ordinance had its first reading at an April 7 council meeting. If the ordinance follows the regular rules, it would be read again at the May council meeting, then read and voted on at the June council meeting. If council votes to approve the ordinance, it would become law approximately 30 days after the ordinance was passed.
The proposed ordinance reads:
• No person, firm or corporation, nor any person acting for them, shall keep, harbor, raise or control any poultry or livestock within the incorporated village of Lynchburg.
• Poultry shall include all varieties of chickens, ducks, geese and any fowl permitted to be hunted under Title 15 of the Ohio Revised Code. Livestock shall include all varieties of cattle, goats, sheep, swine, equine and any quadruped permitted to be hunted under Title 15 of the Ohio Revised Code.
• Whoever violates this ordinance is guilty of keeping poultry or livestock and shall be fined $500.
• This ordinance shall become effective upon passage by a majority of council following 30 days after publication.
In a separate matter, the village council recently passed a sign ordinance prohibiting trespassing and other signage in certain areas, and another ordinance requiring council members to attend a specified number of meetings.
The sign ordinance says:
• No one can place, lean, nail, fasten or affix in any manner a sign to the streets or public ways and public grounds in the village without written approval.
• No one can affix a sign or notice to any utility or street light pole or structure in the village.
• Violation of this ordinance is a misdemeanor.
• Any sign or notice placed in violation of this ordinance is considered a nuisance and the sign or notice and fasteners will be removed immediately.
Burden said signs can still be placed on private property.
“It was mostly just about downtown utility poles, then people not taking them off and it looked trashy,” Burden said.
The council attendance ordinance states that any council member with three notices of an unexcused absence within any 12-month period from a meeting of council, whether it is a regular, special, emergency or committee meeting, shall be deemed to have vacated the office of council member.
“I’m not sure there was a problem,” Burden said. “There’s so many on council that go to all the meetings, I just didn’t want someone showing up for one meeting a month and collecting a paycheck. I wanted to make sure they attend all the subcommittee meetings and special meetings and regular meetings as well.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.