Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sarasota County Takes a Step

On March 8th, 2016, the Sarasota County Commission voted 4-1 to move forward, with Commissioner Robinson voting NO. 

There is some confusion about what they are expecting. The Clerk's microphone wasn't on when she restated the motion -- we believe staff is supposed to respond in 60 days with a report. Then, based on the report, the Commission would vote to advertise a hearing, or not.

This is not the action CLUCK sought, although it is movement in a forward direction. CLUCK had hoped the Commission would direct staff to modify the City of Sarasota ordinance as needed and bring it back to the Commission so they could direct staff to advertise a hearing. Commissioner Robinson argued against that, while Commissioner Hines clearly supported that approach. 

Over a year ago (February 18, 2015) Planning Staff gave the Commission a report on chickens and asked for direction from the Commission  (See 2. Below). Even though it had taken a year, we assumed the next step would be to direct staff to draft an ordinance (or tell CLUCK it was never going to happen). Instead the Commission asked for yet another report. 

Points the Commission apparently wants addressed in the next staff report:

• Provision of ample warning to mandatory HOAs to allow them to clarify their policy on chickens so that they can avoid any "grandfathering" issues

• Information from the City of Sarasota staff regarding their experience.

• What zoning categories staff would recommend for inclusion (this might be a menu for board discussion)

• Addressing concerns raised in the Sheriff's March 4th Memorandum, particularly

• Clarifying the respective roles of Animal Services and Code Enforcement. 

• The basis of projections or assumptions regarding financial impact

• Proposed strategies for dealing with unwanted chickens

• Approaches to minimizing the sale of cockerels (incipient roosters)

• Assessment of relative risk of zoonotic disease and strategies to minimize that risk. 

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