NEW HAVEN — Residents in the Town of New Haven who have been harboring farm animals will have until Aug. 24 to rehome them, following council’s decision last week to uphold its present ordinance, according to Recorder Roberta Hysell.
The town has had an ordinance in effect for many years, prohibiting residents from having any type of farm animal within the municipality. The ordinance became an issue of late, when several families were notified by the council that they were in noncompliance. They were told to rehome the animals within 30 days, or be subject to a fine.
A few of those families attended the July 10 council meeting, asking members to reconsider the ordinance allowing them, and others, to keep livestock. The residents were raising anywhere from two ducks, to five chickens, to a combination of ducks, chickens and goats. The council agreed during that session to hold a public meeting for the purpose of gathering input from all townspeople.
The public meeting was held July 17 with over 100 attending. It was moved from the city building to the community center due to the anticipated crowd.
Although over two dozen residents expressed their opinions, the number was almost even between those speaking “for” and “against.”
With no decision made that night, the issue was held over until last week’s regular council meeting on July 24. During the meeting, Mayor Jerry Spradling polled the council members with the decision being unanimous to uphold the ordinance.
Councilman Grant Hysell made the actual motion to keep the ordinance as written, while the second came from Councilman Matt Shell.
The only exception to the ordinance will benefit the Dale and Carol Smith family, who council decided was “grandfathered in,” having a farm on their property before the ordinance was written. Although the Smith property sits along Rt. 62 within the limits of the municipality, there are no close neighbors within the vicinity of the land.
Also requesting to be grandfathered in were Terry and Trish Gilkey, who have animals on Haven Heights. The land where their animals are kept had formerly been used for agriculture. No decision was made during the meeting.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.