The City of Auburn is considering amending its large animal ordinance to allow citizens who own five or more acres and a barn to keep either one horse, one donkey, one mule, one cow, one goat, or one sheep per acre
The change will not include swine or fowl. The change comes by way of one property owner who purchased land in the city limits and wants to keep a horse.
Although Chalis Mann and her attorney have asked to be on the agenda at the March city council meeting, councilman Mike Rogers didn’t wait on making a motion at February’s meeting to allow the amendment. Councilman Claude Tisdale came in with a second and the motion passed four to one with councilwoman Rhonda Sullivan as the lone holdout. Councilman Rex Evans served as mayor pro-tem in the absence of mayor Mike Hughes and did not have a vote. A first and second reading will have to be voted on before the amendment is final.
At a previous council meeting, a vote was taken and passed not to discuss this issue any further.
“We voted five to one not to bring this issue back up,” said Sullivan. “We have been discussing this since October. We voted to see if there were any interest in taking this any further and the council voted no. Why are we bringing this up again? Why do you keep changing your mind? We have already been in the national news for horses.”
Rogers said to his fellow councilman, “Every city in Kentucky has an ordinance like this. It won’t only affect but one or two people anyway.”
Auburn Attorney Elizabeth Teel informed the council Ms. Mann had requested to be on agenda next month.
“There is a motion on the floor if you want to take some action or vote on that but another suggestion is to table this to allow her to address the council with what she wants and then at that point, that might give you some more insight into what change you might make,” said Teel.
Rogers, who said he had already spoken to Ms. Mann, echoed that his motion was on the floor and there had been a second.
Councilwoman Peggy Thomas voted yes on Roger’s motion but only because she says she has time with the two readings to decide.
“I don’t like saying yes to something I don’t know what’s going to be in the ordinance but I have the other readings to finalize it and make sure it’s the way it’s written up,” Thomas said.
For Sullivan, it’s an easy vote of no.
“This isn’t fair to those who have come before the council in the past asking for the same thing. This is just one property owner and I don’t think we should change an ordinance just for one,” said Sullivan. “It’s not that I am against animals. I love animals. I just want to be fair.”
Sullivan said this particular situation won’t affect many due to where the land is but wondered what would happen if someone in the future wanted animals and met the criteria but that property was near more houses.
“There are about 16 plus others who own up to five acres in the city limits. Some of those could be close to residential areas,” said Sullivan.