P&Z members pursue restricting domestic livestock to A-1 zones only

Dave Marner
Managing Editor

In an effort to once and for all end any further consideration of allowing domestic livestock throughout the city limits of Owensville, Planning and Zoning Commissioners will recommend aldermen restrict them to areas only zoned agricultural (A-1).

Steve Hobein ended a 15 minute discussion Monday with a motion adding a third point, the “letter C,” to chapter 210 of the city’s animal regulations codes  stating domesticated livestock will only be allowed in the areas zoned for agricultural use.

His motion was to add the third point which allows the current list of animals (cows, horse, pigs, chickens, goats and sheep) “only in A-1 and nowhere else in Owensville.”

Connie Warden seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously on a 5-0 vote with Tom Lahmeyer, commission chairmen, Mayor John Kamler and Ward 2 Alderman Denise Bohl adding affirmative votes. Kamler and Bohl are designated as voting members of P&Z as elected officials.

The issue was revisited as a request was made recently by someone seeking to have goats as pets in an area which does not have A-1 zoning. Chickens were previously denied by city officials. Rabbits were an issue bantered about in prior board configurations. 

Lahmeyer noted the issue was never fully resolved when the city contracted for development of a comprehensive city planning document. He noted the prior codes had allowances for keeping certain “domestic livestock.” The new codes that came in with the comprehensive planning work apparently did not, he noted.

There was a push to adopt the plan, he noted, and, “I guess we approved it by default.”

Travis Hernandez, an engineer contracted to the city through Archer-Elgin, said if it was the commission’s intention to limit the location of such livestock, they would need to amend the city’s code. In this case, he said, they would need to add language to specify these types of animals could only be housed in an area with an agriculture zoning designation.

Lahmeyer, acknowledge there are odors and insects, such as flies, associated with farm animals. He said if someone wanted to have a “farmette” it would need to be located in one of the few agricultural-zoned areas of the city or outside the city limits.

Kamler and Bohl each acknowledged they’d received texts recently about chickens, ducks, a baby pig and a rooster located in town.

“My vote is not…I’m with Tom,” said Bohl.

Hernandez suggested P&Z members recommend aldermen create an allowance of these types of animals only in the agricultural zones. If someone questioned what was allowed, the city would have a definitive answer for them — they are only allowed in the A-1 zones.

“This would clear this up in the future,” Hernandez told them.

The proposal will now go to the Board of Aldermen for final considerations to amend chapter 201, section 210.130.