Regulations affecting public nuisances and farm animals, along with general penalties and ordinances, are expected to be approved next month by Ronda commissioners.
No residents attended a public hearing held at 5 p.m. Thursday on the three ordinances. Commissioners Manuel Wood and Cody Soots were absent.
“We have been working on this for eight and a half years,” said Mayor Victor Varela before the hearing.
Commissioners Rheajean Benge, Sandra Simmons and Helen Porter decided against making a final approval of ordinances this month.
“There are still minor changes we need to make,” said Benge. “Just cosmetic stuff. There will be none of the substance taken out of the ordinances.”
The ordinances were written by NFocus, a consulting firm and presented to the town in 2013. Copies of the ordinances have the name of a former town administrator.
“We need a clean copy to consider,” said Benge.
The passing of ordinances regulating farm animals, especially residents having multiple roosters and housing regulations were met with vocal opposition several years ago.
But a new board and several of the rooster owners moving out of the town limits has changed feelings, along with clarification on enforcement of the ordinances.
Varela has said enforcement of the ordinances would be complaint driven, meaning if neighbors don’t complain, no action would be taken.
“No one will be driving around looking for infractions,” said Ron Niland, town consultant. A written complaint would have to be filed with town officials before action would be taken.
Niland and Talesa Carter, town administrator would write a letter to the homeowner when infractions have occurred. Fines would be assessed if the situation continues. Legal measures would be considered if the problem is not solved, said town officials.
Varela says many of the residents supported ordinances in an “effort to clean up” the town.
Description of ordinances
The ordinance regulating the “keeping of farm animals and fowl’’ says they cannot be kept on any property which is less than one acre.
Cows and horses should be kept in an enclosure and should not exceed one animal per acre of enclosed area. Goats and sheep should also be kept within an enclosure and the maximum number should not exceed one animal per one acre of enclosed acre. Also the enclosure should be at least 150 feet from any public street or dwelling, which is not part of the one-acre property.
Chickens, turkeys or other fowl should be kept within an enclosure, pen or coop with sides, a top and bottom, which securely keeps fowl from running loose or at large on property, adjoining properties or public streets. The enclosure should be at least 100 feet from any public street or dwelling, which is not part of the one-acre property.
An exception to the distance for the enclosure from an adjoining property may be granted after a signed agreement between the person keeping the chickens and the adjoining property owner.
Roosters are prohibited in the town of Ronda. It is also unlawful for residents to keep or maintain more than 12 hens in the town.
It is also unlawful to have a collection place for waste or other matter “because of the conditions associated that attract rats, mice, flies or other pests or emit foul odors that can be detected or noticed on adjacent properties or are otherwise not kept in a sanitary condition.
The ordinance regulating public health and safety matters and public nuisances defines a nuisance as any “condition or use of property which threatens or is likely to threaten the safety of the public; adversely affect the general health, happiness, security or welfare of others, or is detrimental to the rights of others to the full use of their own property and their own comfort, happiness and emotional stability because of decreased property values and the unsightliness and decreased livability of neighborhoods.”
The following conditions are defined as nuisances, any weeds or vegetation with an overall height of more than 18 inches above the surrounding ground provided that the following shall not be part of the condition.
These include trees and ornamental shrubs, plants, flowers and vegetable plants, natural vegetation on undeveloped property, active faming or agricultural uses, flood plains and open spaces.
Other nuisances include accumulation of trash, garbage, food waste and any other trash which is the result of the absence or overflowing of, or improperly closed trash or garbage containers, that attract mice and rats, flies and mosquitoes or other pests.
An open or unsecured storage or collection places for chemicals and other harmful or dangerous substances, gasses or vapors.
An open place, collection storage place or concentrating of combustible items or broken or discarded machinery, tires, furniture, etc.
A collection of garbage, trash, etc. that is causing or threatening to cause a fire hazard.
Copies of the ordinances are at town hall and on the town’s website.
Ronda commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9 at the town hall. Items on the agenda include approval of a social media policy for town employees and nominations for the fall festival 2017 planning committee.