Not everyone filling the Kenai City Council chambers last week wanted to talk about a buffer strip separating residents along Walker Lane from the business district. Some raised a hue and cry over dogs.
Specifically, people on both sides of the fence were there offering their opinions about a proposed ordinance that would require notification of neighbors whenever a kennel license was applied for or renewed.
In Kenai, people with more than three dogs older than four months are required to obtain a kennel license.
The city's municipal code, however, does not require neighbors of a kennel or proposed kennel to be notified when the license is applied for or renewed.
Because of the impact a dog kennel can have on neighboring property owners, the new ordinance would require such notice and provide for a hearing to determine whether a dog kennel license should be granted or renewed.
Garnet Sarks, who said she has had a kennel license in Kenai for 10 years, said "I'm very conscientious with my neighbors.
"I'm totally against this ordinance. It seems naughty," she said.
Sarks wanted to know what the city would do if the neighbors decided she can not renew her license.
"Are you gonna tell me to put down my oldest dog or have me put down my boy's dog ... put down my pup?" Sarks asked.
Sherrie Petty, also a kennel license holder, said she feared the change would place animal control in the hands of the neighbors, not professional animal control officers.
"I'm sorry this came about because of one neighborhood dispute," Petty said.
City Attorney Cary Graves said, "This does not give animal control to the neighbors. The decision would still be made by Animal Control."
One resident, Scott Romain, who described himself as being a Realtor, said many home buyers express negative comments about having a kennel next door.
"I'm in favor of this amendment," Romain said.
Nicole Popp said the ordinance allows neighbors to have a voice in the issuance and renewal of a kennel license.
"The amendment will help facilitate dialogue before a license is issued," Popp said.
Gwen Bennett said her kennel license "consists of five pet dogs."
"My question is, do my neighbors have to be asked every year (if the license should be renewed)?" she said.
Mayor Pat Porter said the city would be "tweaking" the proposed ordinance and a copy of the new version would be sent to all who spoke during the public hearing. The intent regarding renewals is to require a hearing if complaints have been filed about a kennel licensee.
At the suggestion of Councilwoman Linda Swarner, action on the ordinance was tabled until the next council meeting in December.
In other business, the council:
* Approved a request by the Kenai Chamber of Commerce to split the cost of the Christmas Comes to Kenai fireworks display; Councilman Mike Boyle voted against helping with the cost, which has risen to $6,500;
* Unanimously supported a Kenai Peninsula Borough resolution seeking to have a separated pedestrian pathway along Kalifornsky Beach Road from Cannery Road to Bridge Access;
* Awarded sole-source contracts to ProComm Alaska for $58,640 and $243,000 for Kenai public safety communications equipment and Kenai Emergency Operations equipment respectively;
* Authorized Porter to sign a joint resolution with Soldotna and the borough asking the Board of Fish to adopt regulations reducing hydrocarbon discharge at the mouth of the Kenai River; and
* Selected a $6 million expansion as the preferred alternative for enlarging the Kenai Community Library.
Phil Hermanek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.