2018-01-10 / News

Lyford keeps restrictions on chickens, pigs

BY ALLEN ESSEX
Reporter

Lyford city commissioners are determined to keep commercial livestock down on the farm.

On Monday, officials considered whether a new state law allowing anyone to keep up to six chickens would override a city ordinance that requires anyone planning to keep chickens, a horse, a cow or goat to own at least 1 1/2 acres of land.

City Attorney Rick Hoffman said cities have the right to be more restrictive in their policy than the state law so there is no need to change the local ordinance.

On Tuesday, City Commis- sioner Rick Salinas said the issue was brought up by the city’s animal control officer, who asked if the new state law would have an effect.

The city’s animal control ordinance also forbids keeping a crowing rooster within the city limits.

Lyford residents are restricted to keeping one horse, one cow, one goat, one sheep, 15 rabbits, 15 chickens or other fowl on a lot at least 1 1/2 acres in size, which is much larger than the typical residential lot.

“A horse, cow or sheep shall be contained within a fenced area,” the ordinance states. “Such fence shall be of sufficient strength and design to hold such animals.”

Another section of the ordinance prohibits keeping hogs in town: “Swine not allowed. No person or other entity shall raise, keep, breed or maintain swine within the city of Lyford unless they qualify for an exemption as hereinafter provided.”

The ordinance also calls for an annual fee of $20 fee with an annual renewal fee of $15 for having livestock on a lot larger than 1 1/2 acres.

However, Mayor Jose G. “Wally” Solis said the exception for swine and provisions for keeping livestock in town was likely intended for school-related programs like FFA and 4-H but now the school district has proper livestock facilities so keeping animals being raised for livestock shows in town is no longer necessary.

In other business, commissioners held a close-door evaluation of Fire Chief Ben Sanchez but no action was taken afterward, City Secretary Lydia Moreno said.

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