Council approves horses in city

Council approves horses in city

May 11th, 2011 by Cliff Hightower in News

The Chattanooga City Council stopped horsing around Tuesday night and now will allow horses within city limits provided the owners can meet special requirements.

"I view this permit as actually being protective of the communities," Councilwoman Deborah Scott said.

The council voted 8-0 for the measure. Councilwoman Sally Robinson abstained.

Controversy about the permit first reared up before the council's committee meetings Tuesday when Councilman Jack Benson said he feared allowing the permit would hurt a particular resident near Jenkins Road.

A landowner on Jenkins Road has horses on his property, and neighbors complained about odors and flies.

Benson later reversed course and said he felt the permit and the problems with the landowner were different issues.

Allen Jones, who lives on Chula Creek Road, is the neighbor to the horses. He said he also had no problems with the ordinance because it spelled out the barn, feeding area and where the horses defecate have to be a certain footage from residential areas.

"He wouldn't be able to qualify for the permit anyway," Jones said.

The council also ordered that the landowner who has horses be told to remove them within 10 days because current city code does not allow them to be there.

In other news, the council voted 5-4 to reach a settlement with Fairway Outdoor Advertising regarding a sign on East Brainerd Road. City Attorney Mike McMahan said the city erroneously issued a permit letting the company put in a larger sign on the property in November 2010. The city then issued a stop order on the project in January.

Fairway Outdoor Advertising took the city to court and won. McMahan said the settlement would allow the company to place the larger billboard on the road, but not put larger billboards anywhere else within the city.

Benson, who represents the district, opposed the measure.

John Crawford, of Friends of East Brainerd, said he also opposed it.

"It's continually a fight to keep the area from being a signboard city," he said.