Small animal ordinance set for December review

4-H, FFA projects in jeopardy
By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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Know and Go:

What: Lincoln City Council

When: 6 p.m. Dec. 12

Where: Lincoln City Hall, 600 Sixth St.

Although Lincoln has a rich agricultural heritage and residents frequently support the high school’s Future Farmers of America program and local 4-H clubs, small-animal projects in town have recently run afoul of city officials.

Jessica Armistead, a Lincoln High School agricultural teacher and Mount Pleasant 4-H club advisor, told the Lincoln City Council on Tuesday that two of her students have recently been cited for raising rabbits and chickens in town.

“I’m concerned about the investigation,” Armistead said. “Both families were mailed a complaint and there was no visit by code enforcement. Both families were not visited by city officials. Neither was properly investigated.”

Armistead asked City Manager Matt Brower to hold off on any more citations until the council takes up the issue on Dec. 12.

“Lincoln is surrounded by cities which allow the raising of small animals. This is totally unfair,” Armistead said. “Agricultural roots in this community run deep and won’t be uprooted. I ask you to stand behind 4-H and FFA families.”

Lincoln resident Diana Melendrez asked the city not to make any changes allowing small-animal projects within the city limits.

“I think this needs to be looked at carefully and regulated,” Melendrez said. “How many animals and who will (enforce) if animals are allowed in residential areas? I just had a situation with rabbits next door and the stench and flies were awful. I don’t think anyone wants to live next to that situation. I didn’t.”

Michelle Zavoras said her daughter, who wants to be a veterinarian, was one of the two children whose small-animal project, laying hens, was interrupted.

“My understanding is that neighbors complained about smell and noise,” Zavoras said. “They are only noisy when laying eggs and we took very good care of our animals.”

“I would appreciate more than seven days notice and a fine of $100 per day,” Zavoras added. “I ask that the city manager place a stay right now.”

According to the city’s municipal code, the city manager is the designated chief of animal control. Brower said he had not yet had a chance to review the issue but would present multiple options to the council at the Dec. 14 meeting.

Social host ordinance

The Lincoln City Council voted 4-1 to approve a social host ordinance designed to hold property owners responsible for parties where children are allowed to consume alcohol or drugs. Councilman Gabriel Hydrick voted against the ordinance.

Kris Wyatt, a trustee of the Western Placer Unified School District, and Amy Ridgeway, a parent of three high school students, both appeared in support of the proposed ordinance.

“I’m not trying to be friends with any high schoolers,” Ridgeway said. “There are consequences to trying to be cool, to trying to be friends with your kids.”

Fullerton Ranch

Fullerton Ranch, a 19.7-acre development with a proposed 81 low-density single-family homes, was approved 4-0 with one abstention Tuesday night by the Lincoln City Council. Councilman Paul Joiner recused himself from discussion and voting on the item because his family owns property near the project.

The subdivision is located south of Nicolaus Road, west and north of the Brookview neighborhood, and east of the Glenmoor neighborhood.

Last meeting

Tuesday night was Mayor Peter Gilbert’s last meeting as Lincoln mayor. Councilman Stan Nader will take over as Lincoln mayor at the Dec. 14 meeting.