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Committee finds compromise on roosters

Marietta Engineering Project Manager Eric Lambert explains to members of Marietta City Council a planned filtration test being vetted for water treatment Thursday during Water and Sewer Committee. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

Rooster regulation discussion in Marietta City Council’s combined Planning, Zoning, Annexation and Housing Committee with Police and Fire Committee drew a compromise Thursday suggested by Marietta Police Chief Rodney Hupp.

“Today’s meeting is to address Rick Headley’s concern over roosters that are in the Fourth Ward on Franklin Street,” said PZAH Chairman Geoff Schenkel.

Schenkel noted that the complaint-driven discussion centered on the noise roosters are prone to make at more than just the crack of dawn each day.

Police and Fire Chairman Bill Gossett echoed the sentiment as the two invited fellow legislators to determine an option for providing relief to neighbors of hen and rooster owners.

“Roosters can be quite annoying,” said Gossett. “They’re not just crowing in the morning, they crow whenever they take a notion.”

Gossett, also noted that a property owner does not need to have a rooster in order to have hens lay eggs, which Council President Susan Vessels echoed, noting she has owned chickens in the past as well, living on Fifth Street.

Through active discussion, the suggestion to simply outlaw rooster ownership within city limits was denied, in favor instead of a compromise proposed by Hupp.

Hupp suggested instead of a ban, to allow for continued rooster ownership but require an anti-crowing device.

He noted that such a compromise would also allow for natural flock protection.

That compromise was accepted by the voting legislators and both Gossett and Schenkel proposed the amendment to require anti-crowing devices be drafted into legislation for council consideration next week in its regular business meeting on Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Other business:

¯ PZAH Committee also heard from representatives from Washington-Morgan Community Action concerning the next annual action plan and administrative plan submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on behalf of the city as its public housing authority.

Schenkel noted that he was in full support of the plan due not only to its thorough descriptions, but also after witnessing one of the agency’s housing specialists in action last week.

“I had the privilege in a recent experience in helping a constituent in working through a housing voucher through your program,” Schenkel described. “The amount of time and care she gave to that constituent to work through the labyrinth of details. … I’m really happy to (support the plan) based on the work I saw.”

¯ Water and Sewer Committee heard an update from Project Manager Eric Lambert and Water Superintendent Jeff Kephart concerning a proposed filter test the pair hope to gauge at a smaller-scale to determine efficiency before adding costs while in the planning and design stage of water treatment plant renovations in the coming years.

Council is next scheduled to meet for finance and lands, buildings and parks committee meetings on Monday.

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