Landis Board of Aldermen approves new backyard animal ordinance

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 6, 2018

LANDIS — The Landis Board of Aldermen unanimously approved an ordinance that changes how Landis residents are expected to care for backyard animals.

The changes include limiting the number of chickens and rabbits per quarter-acre to four and requiring that residents clean their animal pens daily.

Mayor Mike Mahaley said the changes were proposed because of resident complaints.

“The two or three complaints that I heard was people having chickens loose in their yard, free-range, and a little four-foot chain-link fence. They clipped the wings on the birds and they stay in their neighbors’ yards, tearing up their bushes and their roses and their flowerbeds,” Mahaley said.

The ordinance changes require that chickens — and any other animal that stays in a confined, outdoor area — remain in their coops at all times.

Planning and Development Administrator Brandon Linn said the town had to adjust the ordinance to fit its zoning requirements.

“The coop has to be 25 feet away from human habitation and 75 feet from neighboring property,” Brandon said after the meeting. “It’s from zoning, so there’s no way we could change it. It has to stay that way unless they want to change zoning.”

Chicken coops and rabbit hutches can still be side by side.

Residents who have coops and hutches that do not match zoning requirements will have the chance to be grandfathered in but will be expected to clean them daily, Brandon said in response to a question.

The ordinance changes also say roosters are not allowed in the city limits and cloven-hoofed animals must be provided with adequate shelter.

Brandon said he decided to raise the permit fee from $20 to $40 and create a formal permit application after talking with code officials in other municipalities like China Grove, Kannapolis and Charlotte.

“We looked at other municipalities to see what they did, and we basically just followed what the municipalities were doing,” Brandon said.

Alderman Tony Corriher asked Brandon whether dogs were also being taken into consideration.

“I don’t like seeing dogs with a 500-pound log chain tied around their neck. And if we’re going to provide spaces for chickens and rabbits, (it) seems like we need to provide spaces for the safekeeping of dogs,” Corriher said.

Brandon said he and Town Manager Reed Linn had discussed that and are working on it.

Other items on the agenda included:

• The board established an R-8 initial zoning for three voluntarily annexed properties.

Because the lots have not previously been Landis property, they needed to be given a zoning designation.

The town staff recommended that all three pieces of property be zoned R-8, or single-family residential.

One of the three lots is at Lake Corriher on Flat Rock Road and will become part of the Lake Corriher Wilderness Park.

The second lot is at 533 Bonita Drive. Its owner has secured a county zoning permit to build a single-family residence there.

The third lot is at 1380 Mount Moriah Church Road. The owner plans to construct a four-lot subdivision there with one single-family home per lot.

• The board unanimously decided to close certain unopened parts of South Correll Street and East Ridge Avenue.

• The board set its next budget workshop at 5:15 p.m. March 27 at Town Hall.

The workshop is open to the public. Town Hall is at 312 S. Main St.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.