Editorial: Pet projects for post-election local government

Now that the election is over, look for some winners to have some pet projects.

Don Heinzman
Don Heinzman

One place to watch is the city of Coon Rapids where the council is considering how many domestic animals a household can have..

Right now, the limit is one dog and one cat. If a resident wants to keep more than two of them, they must apply for a multiple pet permit.

In many communities, there is no limit on the number of other domestic animals a household can have and that’s the case in Coon Rapids, except for dogs/cats. The city of Bloomington has a limit of four, unless there are puppies under the age of six months.

The Coon Rapids City Council is considering a limit of 12 domestic animals plus a dog and a cat or two dogs or two cats.

At a work session, City Attorney David Brodie defined domestic animals as: non-poisonous snakes, birds kept indoors, non-poisonous spiders, turtles, lizards, hamsters, chinchillas, mice, rabbits, gerbils, white rats, guinea pigs or similar smaller animals capable of being maintained continuously in cages indoors.

The council hasn’t passed this ordinance and probably will consider it at a work session sometime in January.

At the same time, a resident of Coon Rapids wants the council to consider an ordinance that would permit residents to raise chickens.

The city might well check with the Eagan City Council that just passed an ordinance amendment allowing residents to raise five chickens on a residential property.

According to Burnsville/Eagan Sun Thisweek Reporter Jessica Harper, a resident, Barb Harpster, plans to raise chickens in her backyard. She says chickens are great for organic gardening.

This ordinance is not something to crow about. No roosters will be allowed on residential property, no chickens at townhouses or apartments, no slaughter of chickens and selling of their eggs.

Get this. The chicken coop exterior must match the exterior of the home’s finish.

A $50 permit will be charged. The property will be inspected to get a permit and a renewal.

Harper reports that Eagan isn’t the only bird in the coop. Fourteen Minnesota cities, including Bloomington, have adopted ordinances that allow a small number of chickens on a residential lot. Bloomington has a limit of four chickens per household in a residential area.

Apparently these pet ordinances are not ruffling any feathers and after we heard political candidates give each other the “bird” during political campaigns, we thought you’d enjoy knowing that your city councils are looking after you and your pets.

Editor’s note: Don Heinzman is a columnist and editorial writer for ECM Publishers, Inc.