The Town of Kingston Springs recently passed two ordinances that have been “in the works” for close to a year. Both involve regulations on private property.
The “junk car” ordinance has been on the books for decades. The Board of Commissioners have worked with the city attorneys trying to strengthen the ordinance and close gaps that made it difficult to successfully prosecute offenders. The ordinance amendments dealt with notifications to the owner, definitions, and consequences of violations. It now allows the Town the ability to actually remove the cars if the owner chooses not to cooperate.
A “junk car” is one that is not roadworthy, says James Parks the Town’s Codes Enforcement Officer. The vehicle must have all components that make it drivable on the streets, including registration, tires, motor, battery, etc. Cars that are being rebuilt or repaired must be kept in an enclosed structure that has been built to codes.
The “Regulation of Animals” ordinance stemmed from the fact that several large neighborhoods have seen their deed restrictions expire. These restrictions addressed many items including the keeping of FARM ANIMALS. Without the neighborhood restrictions, residents became exposed to the possibility of someone in their neighborhood keeping pigs, cows, goats, etc.
The new animal ordinance restricts the keeping of farm animals on lots LESS THAN 3 ACRES. However, property owners will be allowed to keep up to 20 chickens. Of these 20, only ONE can be a rooster. This ordinance does not “grandfather” any existing situations. All properties with chickens will have to be in full compliance with the ordinance. Ducks, geese, turkeys and other fowl are not allowed under the ordinance.
The following outlines the conditions that must be met for keeping chickens.
1. The keeping of nineteen (19) domesticated hens (female chickens) and one (1) rooster, as poultry fowl, shall be allowed to be kept within a residential zone district. Should no rooster be kept, then twenty (20) domesticated hens are allowed.
2. All other types of poultry fowl, including but not limited to ducks, geese, quail, pigeons, turkeys, ostriches, peacocks and emus are prohibited.
3. All permitted poultry fowl shall be kept outside of a habitable structure in a fenced chicken enclosure (chicken run), and a portion of the chicken enclosure must include a covered chicken coop structure (hen house). The chicken enclosure shall be sufficient in size for the number of poultry fowl being kept.
4. The chicken coop and enclosure shall be well maintained and regularly cleaned to as to control dust, odor and waste and not constitute a nuisance, safety hazard or health problem to the subject premises or surrounding properties. Proper maintenance shall include the removal of waste on a regular basis and disposal thereof in a proper manner. Chicken waste shall include excrement, uneaten food, feathers or other waste items. Any enclosure and coop not properly maintained shall be deemed as a nuisance and in violation of this section.
5. Any food storage shall be kept in air tight, predator proof and weather proof containers.
City Manager, Laurie Cooper, explained that there will not be a designated “animal squad” out looking for violations but all citizen complaints will be investigated. Also, police and other staff members will be responsible for reporting violations if they happen upon them while on duty.