In the past, King residents had to be sure their dogs did not violate a noise ordinance or they faced a criminal or civil penalty. Now owners of all animal types could face criminal charges.
Section 4-4 of the King City Code used to read that anyone in the corporate limits of the city “or within one mile thereof” whose dogs habitually barked for 15 or more minutes would be guilty of maintaining a nuisance. The King City Council voted to amend the ordinance and others pertaining to it on Monday night to provide clarity.
Now the ordinance encompasses “animals” instead of specifying dogs. And whereas owners could have faced criminal and civil penalties in the past, now the violation is criminal only so it can be handled solely by the King Police Department.
Animals in violation are those “which habitually and regularly bark, howl, whine, or make noise for at least 15 minutes so as to result in serious annoyance to neighboring residents and as to interfere with the reasonable use and enjoyment of the premises occupied by such residents.”
As explained at a prior meeting by City Manager John Cater, the City Code was inconsistent in its language regarding noisy dogs. Police Chief Paula May requested clarification so that her officers could apply the ordinance uniformly.
Councilman Dillard Burnette wanted to know if the ordinance also applied to chickens and roosters. The other board members seemed to think that those and other fowl were included under the term “animal.”
A public hearing was held regarding the proposed change, but no one spoke up. The board unanimously approved the amendments. Councilman Wesley Carter was absent.
Also during the meeting:
• The council scheduled public hearings for its March 4 meeting to consider amending sections 20 and 23 of the City Code of Ordinances to see if “more clarity could be achieved for the special event permitting process,” and to consider adding sections on buffering and screening requirements and travel trailers to the City Code.
• Jeremy Cook was named King Employee of the Quarter. Cook is a maintenance worker and has worked for the city 14 years.
• The council set a third workshop to go over proposed changes to update the personnel policy. The council will meet Feb. 12 at 10 a.m. in City Hall.
• The council tabled consideration of an upgrade to the city’s camera equipment at city parks until the council members could see a demonstration of the new equipment.
• The city signed a multi-year contract with Zambelli Fireworks. The company asked for a 10-percent price increase, which would bring the total cost to $9,350. The company agreed to leave the cost the same for 2014 and then increase it to $9,500 in 2015 if the city agreed to lock in with a multi-year contract.