The Kenai City Council approved the animal code amendment regulating how households with more than four dogs are treated.
The 4-3 vote means that a number of practices mostly in place will become official. The amended animal control code requires that neighbors are notified when someone files for a kennel license or renewal and makes a differentiation between commercial and private kennels. The code also allows for a public hearing if requested and creates an appeals process for city decisions regarding kennels.
Council members Robert Molloy, Mike Boyle and Terry Bookey voted against the ordinance. Earlier in the meeting, Molloy made a motion to postpone voting on the measure so that a substitute could be drafted.
"I think the ordinance is still somewhat confusing and needs work," he said. Molloy's proposed changes included requiring notice of license renewals only in specific instances, rather than automatically, and further clarifying the difference between commercial and private kennels.
That effort failed when a majority of the council wanted to make a decision. A number of council members said they wanted to see something move forward or get voted down at the Wednesday night meeting.
Mayor Pat Porter noted that there had been ample time for public input and changes could be made in the future.
Council member Joe Moore agreed. "I would rather vote it up or down tonight," he said.
During public testimony, planning and zoning member Karen Kester said Planning and Zoning knew that some tweaking was needed, but that after three years of on-and-off work, the ordinance needed to be passed. In 2007, the council voted down a similar ordinance.
Molly Dischner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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