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File #: ORD 2019-017    Version: Name:
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed
File created: 6/12/2019 In control: Town Council
On agenda: 7/2/2019 Final action: 7/2/2019
Title: Ordinance Amending Chapter 6.02 of the Castle Rock Municipal Code Concerning Ducks, Miniature Goats and Miniature Pot-Bellied Pigs by Amending Sections 6.02.030, 6.02.090, 6.02.250, 6.02.340 and Adding New Sections 6.02.251, 6.02.252, 6.02.253 and 6.02.254 (Second Reading - Approved on First Reading on June 18, 2019 by a vote of 5-1)
Attachments: 1. Attachment A: Ordinance - 2nd Reading, 2. Attachment C: Feedback re Goats-Pigs and Ducks 2017 and 2018, 3. Attachment D: YTT-Mar2019, 4. Attachment E: Story Boards, 5. Attachment F: Feedback re Goats-Pigs and Ducks 2019 and Comments, 6. Exhibit 1 - Letter from resident, 7. Exhibit 2 - Email from resident 07-02-2019, 8. Presentation - 2nd Reading
Related files: ORD 2018-013, ID 2017-109, DIR 2017-006, DIR 2018-007, ID 2019-029, DIR 2019-014

To:                     Honorable Mayor and Members of Town Council

 

From:                     Heidi J. Hugdahl, Deputy Town Attorney

 

Title

Ordinance Amending Chapter 6.02 of the Castle Rock Municipal Code Concerning Ducks, Miniature Goats and Miniature Pot-Bellied Pigs by Amending Sections 6.02.030, 6.02.090, 6.02.250, 6.02.340 and Adding New Sections 6.02.251, 6.02.252, 6.02.253 and 6.02.254 (Second Reading - Approved on First Reading on June 18, 2019 by a vote of 5-1)

Body

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Executive Summary

 

This matter came before Council, for First Reading, on June 18, 2019.  Arising out of and following First Reading, some minor changes were made to the Ordinance. Two additional changes were made to the definition section, to ensure consistency through the Code. To address concerns that were raised regarding the fact that these types of animals may attract wildlife, a provision was added to the section regarding chicken and duck feed, requiring such feed be stored in such a way to prevent the intrusion of wildlife.  A provision was also added to address the requirement that all goats, over one month, be disbudded, and no intact male goats older than 3 months (instead of 6 months as previously shown in the first reading). And, a provision was also added allowing owners or keepers to walk miniature goats, provided the miniature goats are properly leashed. Because miniature goats are notorious for escaping, a recommendation has been made to specify the height requirement related to fencing, and a sentence has been added to the existing grazing provision to prohibit grazing in public ways. Two new sections have been added: The first relates to clarifying the fact that HOAs may have more restrictive regulations; The second establishes a requirement that owners or keepers must provide verification or certification, upon request, as to the breed, whether it be a miniature goat or miniature pot-bellied pig. Finally, to ensure that the Police Department has time to work through the logistics, a recommendation has been made to make the Ordinance effective October 1, 2019.

 

Background

 

In 2018, as part of the comprehensive rewrite of the Animal Code, several residents voiced an interest in the possibility of owning ducks, miniature goats, and miniature pot-bellied pigs. Interest was expressed in written form, during public comment (on first and second reading of Ordinance No. 2018-013 “An Ordinance Repealing and Reenacting Title 6 of the Castle Rock Municipal Code”), and verbally to members of Council. (Attachment C are feedback forms which reference ducks, miniature goats, and miniature pot-bellied pigs, arising out of the outreach done related to Ordinance No. 2018-013).

 

Notification and Outreach

 

Toward the end of 2018, staff reengaged residents in discussions regarding miniature pot-bellied pigs, miniature goats, and ducks.  Since that time, considerable community outreach has occurred.

 

In March 2019, the topic of ducks, miniature goats, and miniature pot-bellied pigs was included in the monthly Town Talk, in an informational insert included with residents’ water bills. (Attachment D). Town staff also compiled an extensive email list that included all residents who had provided written or verbal comments during the overhaul of the Animal Code or, who had requested to be included on emails or, who had expressed an interest in the animal related issues. Communications also prepared a news release, on March 26, as well as social media updates in the form of information added to the Town’s website, as well as, postings on Facebook (March 26, March 27, April 5, and April 9).  Additionally, the Town’s LED sign served to advise residents that the topic would be coming back for Council’s consideration.     

 

On April 9, 2019, the Town held an Open House.  (Attachment E are the storyboards staff created for the Open House).  The Open House was not well attended, but a number of residents have provided written input in email correspondence and responses to online forms.  Additionally, some residents communicated directly with Council and Town staff. (Attachment F are the feedback forms and written comments, received in 2019, related to ducks, miniature goats, and miniature pot-bellied pigs).

 

As part of the process, staff reached out to various municipalities, across the front-range, to inquire as to whether they permitted miniature goats, miniature pot-bellied pigs, and ducks. In the instances where these types of animals were permitted staff inquired as to what their experiences had been.  Some municipalities expressed that they wished they had height and weight limitations on miniature goats and miniature pot-bellied pigs.  Some shared that they had license, vaccine and other requirements.  (Some municipalities have robust licensing requirements).  But generally none raised strong concerns-indicating that there had not been significant negative impacts felt.  Because including ducks in the Town’s Animal Code would easily integrate with the existing provision governing chickens, staff’s outreach and review has focused primarily on issues related to miniature goats and miniature pot-bellied pigs. 

 

Staff has reviewed literature and municipal codes - across the front-range - with specific attention to municipalities that allow miniature goats and miniature pot-bellied pigs, in urban or residential settings.  And, as noted, staff reached out and spoke directly with a number of municipalities, in an effort to better understand some of the challenges related to allowing these types of animals in residential settings.

 

Staff has reviewed 26 municipal codes including Arvada, Boulder, Brighton, Broomfield, Centennial, Cherry Hills, Colorado Springs, Craig, Denver, Douglas County, Englewood, Fort Collins, Fruita, Foxfield, Grand Junction, Lafayette, Lakewood, Lone Tree, Longmont, Loveland, Montrose, Parker, Sheridan, Steamboat Springs, Westminster and Wheat Ridge.  Staff has also reviewed municipal codes outside the state including Lawrence, Kansas, and Seattle, Washington.  

 

Resident Feedback

 

In the online forms, several residents requested amendments to the Animal Code to allow the keeping of miniature goats and miniature pot-bellied pigs within the Town.  In some instances, resident response was limited to a “yes” or “no,” and in other instances more substantive feedback was provided.

 

With respect to ducks, although some residents shared their perception that ducks were messy and noisy, others generally expressed a preference for allowing ducks as an option instead of, or with, chickens. (There were not nearly as many comments regarding ducks).    

 

Those in favor of allowing miniature goats generally shared their perspective that goats are alternatives to dogs and that they are a source of milk, cheese, and wool fiber.  In amplifying resident responses from those in favor of allowing miniature goats, some stated that miniature goats are playful, curious, affectionate, and intelligent; that they have personalities similar to dogs and that they help keep “landscapes tidy.” Those in support of allowing miniature goats also spoke to local character and 4-H interests, and they pointed to other municipalities that allow them. 

 

Some residents voiced an interest in miniature pot-bellied pigs, citing the fact that miniature pot-bellied pigs are about the same size as some dog breeds, that allowing miniature pot-bellied pigs would add to both the charm and diversity in Castle Rock, and explaining that these types of pigs have the demeanor and personality of dogs.  Advocates also spoke to the possibility of litter box training and appreciated these animals because they are hypoallergenic.  Other residents expressed the viewpoint that miniature pot-bellied pigs are “less smelly” and less noisy then cats and dogs, and that miniature pot-bellied pigs are ideal pets for families with children because miniature pot-bellied pigs keep the same “routine” as a child.  Additionally, proponents claim miniature pot-bellied pigs are intelligent and that they can be trained to walk on a leash or harness, they can be litter box trained, and that they make clean and wonderful companion animals. 

 

A significant number of residents generally emphasized the importance of responsible pet ownership and a desire to see that all animals are humanely cared for and that they do not create a nuisance. 

 

Residents opposed (again, primarily to miniature goats and miniature pot-bellied pigs), generally cited concerns related to noise and other nuisance related issues. Some thought the proposition was simply “ridiculous.”  Others expressed that they were against having farm animals in residential communities.  Some stressed that they did not have faith in other residents that they would keep the animals contained or leashed, or that miniature goat and miniature pot-bellied pig owners would clean up after them given the problems attendant to many dog owners in Town and their shortcoming when it comes to responsible pet ownership.  Concerns were also raised related to sanitary and disease considerations.  Also raised were issues concerning being good neighbors and the potential impact. And, a lack of faith was expressed that people would appropriately license or identify any such animals through microchipping or other means.  

 

Additionally, some residents expressed concern of how HOA’s would handle a possible influx of these types of animals, and inquiries were made about what type of education would be provided.  Some residents indicated that there should be lot (size) requirements associated with allowing such animals.  While other residents stated that enacting reasonable provisions for allowing these types of animals provides residents with the “adequate freedom of choice in the pet type.”  Concerns were also raised relative to the fact these types of animals might be an attraction for other wildlife and other unintended consequences were mentioned.  Additionally, some residents expressed worry of potential negative impact on property values.  And, to some degree, a prevailing notion emerged-namely people who want these types of animals should live in rural Douglas County.  (For additional considerations identified by staff, please see Attachment E, and the board titled “Additional Considerations Regarding Miniature Pigs and Miniature Goats”). 

 

Discussion

 

As noted, staff reviewed regulations for a number of Colorado municipalities as well as some out of state municipalities and found that a number of municipalities allow miniature goats and miniature pot-bellied pigs in urban and residential areas.  By limiting the size, height, weight, and number of such animals permitted, staff hopes to address some of the concerns that have been brought forward related to the potential impacts.

 

Should Council find that keeping miniature goats and miniature pot-bellied pigs is appropriate for residential properties in Town, staff has proposed a number of amendments to Title 6.  For example, owners or keepers would be required to:

 

                     Limit the number to one miniature pot-bellied pig, and no less or more than two miniature goats.

 

                     Microchip or collar their miniature goats or miniature pot-bellied pig with identification tags.

 

                     Neutering and spaying requirements (pigs) and only altered males (goats).

  

                     Appropriate vaccinations for miniature goats or miniature pot-bellied pig.

 

                     Adhere to licensing requirements (including confirmation of bonafide registry or certification from a licensed veterinarian in Colorado as to breed of goats or pig).

 

                     Adhere to strict weight, size, height, and breed requirements.

 

                     Be held responsible for any damage their miniature goats or miniature pot-bellied pig may cause to the property of others.

 

As previously noted, staff has some concerns regarding potential challenges (primarily related to enforcement actions, space, and additional costs) to the Town, the possible implications if such animals are purchased and what to do if the novelty wanes, and what to do with stray, impounded or abandoned animals.      

    

Staff Recommendations 

 

With regard to adding ducks: Staff believes this can be rather easily accomplished and incorporated into the existing code and the attached proposed Ordinance does so. (There have not been any significant negative impacts with the addition of chickens). 

 

With regard to allowing miniature goats and miniature pot-bellied pigs, if Council wishes to allow these types of animals, then staff would recommend an effective date, 60-90 days out, from second reading to better ensure staff can address some of the anticipated challenges, and have the necessary forms in place. 

 

Budget Impact

 

If Council approves the Ordinance - amending the code to allow Miniature Goats and Miniature Pot-Bellied Pigs - then there may be budgetary implications related to increased costs attendant to licensing, enforcement, and housing such animals (in the event they escape and their owners cannot be found, or in the event these types of animals need to be impounded or otherwise surrendered).  

 

Proposed Motions

 

“I move to approve the Ordinance 2019-017, An Ordinance Amending Chapter 6.02 of the Castle Rock Municipal Code Concerning Ducks, Miniature Goats and Miniature Pot-Bellied Pigs by Amending Sections 6.02.030, 6.02.090, 6.02.250, 6.02.340 and Adding New Sections 6.02.251 and 6.02.252 (Second Reading)”

 

 

Attachments

 

Attachment A:  Ordinance - 2nd Reading

Attachment B: Ordinance - 1st Reading

Attachment C: Feedback 2017 and 2018

Attachment D:  Town Talk dated March 2019

Attachment E:  Story Boards

Attachment F:  Feedback 2019 and Comments