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Residents would be required to obtain a permit
by Samantha White
City Administrator Joan Davies read part of Ordinance 302, which refers to proposed changes to the current municipal code and comprehensive plan, during the regular meeting of the Hines Common Council (held April 9).
Davies reported that the planning commission met April 2 to discuss the proposed changes and agreed to recommend that the council approve the adoption of Ordinance 302 into the municipal code.
The ordinance would allow residents to obtain a permit to keep livestock, domestic animals, poultry, fowl or honey bees within city limits under specific conditions. A permit would not be needed to keep dogs, cats or rabbits.
Ordinance 302 defines “livestock” as cattle, sheep, goats, swine, horses, mules or donkeys kept and maintained within pens, corrals, sheds or wire enclosures. A “domestic animal” is defined under the ordinance as “any animal or fowl conditioned to live and breed in a tame environment and normally amenable to human habits.” The ordinance defines “poultry” as “domesticated birds kept for egg production, meat harvesting or feather collection.” Examples of poultry would be chickens, quail, turkeys, pigeons, doves or pheasants. Under the ordinance, “fowl” includes game fowl, land fowl or waterfowl fitting the definition of a “domestic animal.” Ducks and geese are typical examples of “fowl” by this definition. “Honeybees” are defined as “bees maintained for the production and storage of honey.”
The ordinance would require anyone wishing to obtain a permit to file an application with the city. The application would have to include the signature of at least one occupant of every dwelling within 300 feet of the proposed habitat. The applicant would then appear before the Hines Common Council to request the permit.
People obtaining permits would be limited in the number and type of animals, birds or bees that they would be allowed to keep within the city.
For example, those receiving a permit to keep chickens, would be limited to four adult females and their offspring (under four months old). No roosters (male poultry or fowl over four months old) would be allowed. Any male chick over four months old would have to be removed from the premises. Two of any other kind of poultry or fowl could be kept in addition to chickens.
Davies said Hines citizens are already keeping chickens in the city, and these amendments would help regulate them.
Hines citizens with the appropriate permits would be able to keep up to two livestock or domestic animals under the age of 9 months. Only one bee hive or housing unit would be allowed with the industry-recommended number of bees per hive or unit.
Davies said the planning commission expressed concern about allowing bees in the city. However, she explained that including bees in Ordinance 302 will allow the city to set limitations for beekeepers.
Livestock, domestic animals, poultry, fowl or honey bees would only be allowed for personal, non-commercial use. In other words, retail sale of eggs or honey would be prohibited. Additionally, the slaughter of livestock, domestic animals, poultry or foul would be prohibited, except as permitted by state law.
The ordinance would also regulate how animals and birds could be housed and would require all animals and birds to be kept in an appropriate, well-maintained enclosure at all times. Additionally, all buildings and enclosures would have to be located at the rear of the residence, at least ten feet from adjacent neighbors’ property lines and at least 15 feet from any adjacent street (for corner lots). Obnoxious odors and noises would be regulated, as would the cleanliness and care of the animals.
Under the ordinance, the city would maintain the right to deny or revoke permits. The ordinance also establishes specific punishments for violations.
Regarding the ordinance, Davies said, “I’d really like input from the council or audience.”
Herb Vloedman commented that horses need more room than Ordinance 302 would allow.
Davies replied that, because horses over 9 months of age will not be permitted in city limits, this should not be an issue.
Councilor John Mims commented that Ordinance 302 would make it easier for children who live within city limits to participate in 4-H programs. “I think it’s great that you included 4-H kids,” he said, adding that he believes a 4-H club for poultry was recently started.
Davies reported that the planning commission will hold the first public evidentiary hearing to bring its comprehensive plan into compliance with the ordinance on May 7, and a hearing will be held before the council on May 14. The ordinance will not be voted on until after the May 7 public hearing.
Davies also reported that a Department of Land Conservation and Development grant will be used to scan and save an electronic version of the Hines Comprehensive Plan into a word processing program. She said the electronic version of the plan will be added to the city’s website, allowing the public to access it. The electronic version will also allow the city to make future changes and updates to the plan.
During the public comment period, Veterans Service Officer Guy McKay said, for the past two years, he has been writing claims for veterans that exceed $1 million per year.
McKay also informed everyone in attendance that April is the “Month of the Military Child,” and he said a community celebration will be held Friday, April 26 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Burns National Guard Armory. Inspired by a children’s book by Mary Redman, a “wishing tree” will be dedicated, and refreshments will be served. The event will be presented by Oregon National Guard Child & Youth Programs and the Harney County Military Family Support Task Force.
The task force and Oregon National Guard will also present a symposium on adjustment after deployment, depression, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Friday, May 17 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Burns National Guard Armory.
McKay said “with the wars winding down,” military personnel may be passing through Harney County. He added that “people we have known for 20 or 30 years” may have TBI or PTSD. McKay said he has been encouraging the heads of various local departments to attend the symposium.
“We’ll attend. Thank you,” Davies replied.
“This is great,” Mayor Nikki Morgan added.
Davies said the city received 13 additional surveys regarding the proposed consolidation of the cities of Burns and Hines, bringing the total to 264. She said, to date, 222 of the people who returned a survey said they do not support the consolidation of the cities, and 42 people said they want the Hines council to pursue looking into consolidation with Burns.
Davies also reported that the council received a thank you note for the city’s donation to the Harney County School District Science Fair Committee.
Davies read a letter from an anonymous Hines resident who thanked Police Chief Ryan DeLange for patrolling the side streets and neighborhoods and promoting community policing.
Davies said she asked the maintenance crew to put corkboard on the bulletin board near the bathrooms at Hines Park, which can be used to post flyers advertising yard sales and other community events. She also suggested that the bulletin board be painted a bright color to catch people’s attention.
During the public comment period, Vloedman said he would like to see more traffic lights along Highway 20 in Hines, as it is difficult for pedestrians to cross traffic along the length of the city. He said, because there are no striped crossways, traffic does not pay attention to pedestrians.
“If there’s not paint across the street, you are fair game,” he said.
Vloedman added that he recognizes that Highway 20 is a state highway, but asked the city to request more crosswalks with painted stripes.
Davies said she attempted to get a striped crossing at the corner of the park and pavilion area, but Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) personnel told her that stripes give pedestrians a false sense of security. Davies said ODOT personnel said they believe there are fewer injuries or fatalities if crosswalks are not marked.
Morgan added that it took years for the city to establish the flashing light at the intersection of Barnes Avenue and Highway 20, but that the city can continue to work to obtain striped crosswalks.
Councilor Hilda Allison said she received a number of calls from people regarding driving ATVs on her property near the Truck Stop.
DeLange issued a warning, which appeared in the April 3 edition of the Burns Times-Herald, stating that anyone caught riding ATVs on Truck Stop property “will be cited and towed.”
Allison said some people told her they would like to drive their ATVs to the Truck Stop in order to fuel them up. She suggested towing ATVs on a trailer or filling gas cans as alternatives to driving ATVs on private property.
“I don’t want to see anyone hurt on my private property,” she said, adding that she would like to resume the discussion when DeLange is present to provide input.
In other business, the council:
• heard a report from Superintendent of Public Works Pedro Zabala. Zabala thanked the city of Burns and Burns maintenance crew for sweeping the streets in Hines. He also thanked councilors Dick Baird, Dick Anderson, Tom Choate and Ron Williams for riding around with the maintenance crew. He added that he and Jerry Lewellen recently completed training in Pendleton in order to maintain their certifications;
• heard a report from Fire Chief Bob Spence who said the department has not received any calls since the previous council meeting. Spence added that, so far, the department has installed 14 smoke detectors for mobile home park residents free of charge;
• approved the payment of lodging and meal per diem for DeLange who attended the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Bend April 9-12 and for a Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants Multi-Disciplinary Training Conference, which will be held April 26-27 in Bend;
• discussed Resolution 2166. Davies said “historic practice” dictates that an impound fee is charged when police impound vehicles that were abandoned as the result of an arrest. However, she said this practice has not been written into ordinance. Davies she will write an amendment to the old ordinance and follow up with the fee resolution;
• discussed the harmful effects of feeding “junk food” to deer.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Hines Common Council will be held April 23 at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.