ABSTRACT: Two Noteworthy 5 October 2010 City Council Agenda Items, namely a request to amend Carmel Municipal Code Section 6.08.120 to allow for the keeping of chickens in the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea and Receive report and provide policy direction on options for the 2012 Municipal Election, are presented. Excerpts from Agenda Item Summaries and Staff Reports are provided.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
4:30 p.m., Open Session
Live and Archived Video Streaming Available
East side of Monte Verde Street between Ocean and Seventh Avenues
XI. Orders of Council
A. Consideration of a request to amend Carmel Municipal Code Section 6.08.120 to allow for the keeping of chickens in the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The applicant is Anna Yateman.
Description: The applicant is requesting that the Municipal Code be amended to allow the keeping of chickens in the City. The applicant is requesting to keep two hens on her property.
Staff Recommendation: Deny the application.
Important Considerations: The City has not allowed the keeping of chickens within City limits since 1969. Allowing chickens could impact the residential character of the City and increase the workload of the animal control department.
Decision Record: The Planning Commission recommended that the City allow the keeping of chickens on 11 August 2010.
CITY OF CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY PLANNING AND BUILDING
TO: MAYOR MCCLOUD AND COUNCIL MEMBERS
FROM: SEAN CONROY, PLNG & BLDG SERVICES MANAGER
DATE: 5 OCTOBER 2010
SUBJECT: CONSIDERATION OF A REQUEST TO AMEND MUNICIPAL CODE SECTION 6.08.120 TO ALLOW FOR THE KEEPING OF CHICKENS IN THE CITY OF CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA. THE APPLICANT IS ANNA YATEMAN
BACKGROUND & DESCRIPTION
Carmel Municipal Code (CMC) Section 6 establishes the City’s regulations regarding animals. Section 6.08.120, originally adopted in 1969, states the following:
“It is unlawful, and is declared a nuisance, for any person or persons to keep or cause to be kept any swine or barnyard fowl whatsoever within the corporate
limits of the City.”
The applicant is requesting permission to keep two hens on her property. Since the keeping of chickens is prohibited, the applicant is requesting that the municipal code be amended. The applicant is also requesting that the $420 application fee be waived.
Process: Staff has not prepared an ordinance amendment for Council review at this time. If the Council determines that the Municipal Code should be amended, then staff would prepare a draft ordinance for review at a future hearing. If the Council determines that the Municipal Code should not be amended, no further action is required.
Planning Commission: On 11 August 2010 the Planning Commission recommended that the Council amend the Municipal Code to allow for the keeping of chickens. The Commission recommended the following requirements be included in any new ordinance amendment:
• Require a Conditional Use Permit (CUP)
• Limit it to the keeping of hens, not roosters
• Require all fowl to be maintained in an enclosure of chicken wire or other suitable material
• Establish a limit on the number of fowl on any one property
• Limit it to the R-1 District
Staff does not support amending the Municipal Code for the following reasons:
1) Residential Character: The City is predominately a residential village set in a forest. However, the rustic residential character does not equate to a rural setting. With small lots and minimal setbacks between dwellings, the neighborhoods are relatively dense for a single-family zone. One of the primary purposes of the current standards related to fowl is to avoid uses that are more appropriate for larger, rural lots. Allowing chickens could lead to requests to allow other barnyard fowl and/or swine, and could result in diminishing the residential character of the City.
2) Animal Control: Allowing chickens could attract more wild animals into the city, particularly raccoons. Raccoons already present a challenge to Carmel residents and pets, as they can be quite aggressive. If numerous residents began keeping chickens, this could result in an increase in the number of raccoons or other predators coming into the City.
The City has only one part-time animal control officer, who is already heavily burdened with animal control issues. Allowing the keeping of chickens would likely add to the enforcement burden on the City.
3) Public Health: If the City began allowing chickens, and numerous residents began keeping them, several public health concerns could arise. While staff has not performed a thorough public health analysis, some of the common health concerns related to the raising of chickens include:
• The transfer of bacteria, particularly Salmonella
• High levels of arsenic that can often be found in many types of chicken feed
• Potential water quality issues related to animal waste and storm water run-off
Other Communities: Some neighboring communities, including Monterey and Pacific Grove, do allow the keeping of chickens (see attached ordinances). While these communities have many small lots similar to Carmel, they also have many larger lots where the keeping of chickens may be more appropriate.
The Police Department did speak with an official with the City of Pacific Grove who indicated that they have had problems with predators, such as raccoons and skunks, attacking chickens. They have also had incidents of chickens either escaping from a particular property or being discarded by their owner, which creates additional animal control issues.
Fee Waiver: The applicant has requested that the City Council waive the application fee for this project. Staff does not support the fee waiver as there are costs involved in amending the Municipal Code. Costs include staff time for preparing a draft ordinance, public notices, staff reports, and other documents along with costs associated with publishing public notices and Municipal Code amendments. If the Council directs staff to prepare an ordinance for future review by the Council, staff recommends that the application fee be submitted prior to any further work on this project.
Deny the request to amend the Municipal Code.
Links to other material included in Agenda Packet:
Chicken Run Rescue
C. Receive report and provide policy direction on options for the 2012 Municipal Election.
Description: Staff is requesting direction regarding whether the City should continue to conduct a standalone election for the Mayoral and Council seats in April or consolidate with the County’s November General Election.
City Funds: see staff report for cost estimates
Grant Funds: N/A
Staff Recommendation: Provide staff direction.
Important Considerations: Contracting with the Monterey County Registrar’s office for election services for an April election is no longer a viable alternative due to significant increases in costs.
Decision Record: Council considered this item at its September 14, 2010 meeting. It was widely decided to continue this item so Council and the public could have more time to consider the various options.
CITY OF CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA
TO: MAYOR MCCLOUD AND COUNCIL MEMBERS
FROM: HEIDI BURCH, CITY CLERK
THROUGH: RICH GUILLEN, CITY ADMINISTRATOR
DATE: OCTOBER 5, 2010
SUBJECT: CITY ELECTIONS
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
The City has held its elections in April of even years since its incorporation in 1916. In the past, the City has contracted with the Monterey County Elections Department to conduct its elections. Significant cost increases, however, forced the City to conduct its own election in April 2010 rather than contracting with the County. The City contracted with Martin & Chapman to conduct its election, thereby saving the City between $28,000 and $40,000. (Because the County quotes varied greatly, savings by the City can only be placed in a range).
In reviewing the City’s 2010 election, the following items were noted:
The City would need to have at least one more experienced poll worker during the closing of the polls. Poll workers that had previously worked on County elections had been placed at the two precincts throughout the day. One precinct, however, did not have an experienced poll worker present for the closing of the polls. This would be remedied going forward as a number of former poll workers volunteered their services for the 2012 election.
The City’s use of volunteers to set up the polling places, post signage, work at the precincts from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., close down the polls and reconcile votes placed saved the City thousands of dollars in costs previously charged by the County.
The results of the election were calculated significantly quicker than during the election in 2008. Results for the 2010 election were tabulated within 1.5 hours. The final results were available the next day. By law, the county has 28 days to conduct the canvass and determine the final results of an election.
City staff time to conduct the election did not increase significantly. City staff already had election duties when contracting with the County. The main additions to those duties in contracting with Martin & Chapman were the processing of the vote-by-the-mail ballots, which included the verification of signatures, and duties on the day of the election. Deputy City Clerk, Molly Laughlin, spent 25 hours and I spent 13 hours verifying signatures, photocopying ballots and supervising the polls.
As contracting with the County to conduct future elections in April is cost prohibitive, there are two remaining viable options for future Carmel-by-the-Sea elections. The City can continue to conduct its election in April of even years or change the election to November and consolidate with the General Election.
November consolidated election – County estimate $12-$17,000*
Traditional April election –County estimate $50,679
Traditional April election – Martin & Chapman estimate $23,000
*The City was charged $16,340 by the County for the election in November 2009.
Contracting with the Monterey County Registrar’s office for election services for an April election is no longer a viable alternative. Staff requests Council direction to continue contracting with Martin & Chapman for its April election or to take measures to move the election to November and consolidate with the County and other agencies.