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Kingston Springs Urban Farmers Trusted to be “Responsible”

By DALE GRAHAM

The Kingston Springs City Commission met last Thursday night. Tony Campbell was absent.

Mayor John McLeroy thanked police officers for their great work foiling house recent burglaries. “We’ve got a great police department”, he said. He also thanked the Jamie Wilson and the Harpeth High School Basketball team for the clean up at the Dunn Cemetery on Kingston Springs Road recently.

Resident Joy Gross spoke out against the Live Stock Ordinance, which was on the table at the meeting for discussion, saying that she had 18 hens and 1 rooster in her yard in downtown Kingston Springs, and called them “generally all around better pets than my dogs”. She added that she feels “the livestock issue is a subdivision issue, and not really a town issue”. She suggested a permitting plan of sorts, where those who wanted to have chickens could take a poll of neighbors and get signature from those in support. Another downtown chicken owner also spoke up in favor of chickens.

When the proposed legislation came up on the agenda,

The proposed ordinance does not allow farm animals on property of less than 3 acres, except for chickens. Maximum of 6 chickens, no roosters allowed. Current chicken owners would be grandfathered in, but would not be allowed to expand their flock.

Mayor McLeroy stated that Kingston Springs is a close community, and the covenants and deed restrictions in some of the neighborhoods have expired. “I don’t want my next door neighbor to have a pig in the back yard”, adding that “we’re just trying to be proactive”, and get some rules into place.

Commissioner Pam Lorenz, a chicken owner, explained that she liked Gross’ suggestion about permitting, but wondered how it could be enforced if the neighbors start to complain after first agreeing. She said that she liked the ordinance the way it was presented, as long as the number of chickens allowed was raised from 6 to 12, and add that 1 rooster could be allowed.

There was a motion by McLeroy, seconded by Lorenz to approve, then amended by Lorenz to allow up to 12 hens and 1 rooster. There was a great deal of discussion to try and get the verbiage right, but at the end of discussion, the amendment failed by a vote of 2 for (Pam Lorenz and John McLeroy), to 2 against (Gary Corlew, Craig Kitch).

Craig Kitch said that he didn’t want to put a law in the books for something that isn’t a problem. “Let’s deal with the problems, instead of punishing all of the responsible people because of a couple of people that aren’t”. Corlew said he thought the ordinance needed more work.

The ordinance was tabled until the November meeting.

The December meeting date was changed from December 20th to December 13th. the new commissioners will be sworn in at that meeting.

Bridget Wilson was reappointed to the Board of Zoning Appeals through November 2015.

The Kingston Springs City Commission meets the third Thursday of every month at 7p.m. in the Beck Town Meeting Hall in downtown Kingston Springs.

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