The City of Brazil has gone catty.
Tuesday's meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil featured a discussion regarding the animal ordinance, particularly for cats, during a rezoning issue.
Tammy Rothrock, 624 N. Forest Ave., Brazil, filed to rezone her residence from a single-family residence to local business, in part, because she wants to start a not-for-profit business.
She currently houses more than 30 stray and feral cats, the majority of which have been spayed or neutered.
"I also have a pure-bred golden retriever I would like to breed," Rothrock said. "I have spent a lot of time and money to get the cats altered."
However, she is in violation of the City of Brazil's Animal Ordinance.
The ordinance states a person owning or harboring more than one unaltered dog or cat over the age of six months must apply for a kennel/cattery permit. It also states, "At no time shall the number of dogs exceed 4, number of cats exceeds 6, or the total number of dogs and cats exceed 6, at 1 residential property."
Rothrock has the necessary permit, but it was incorrectly issued because her residence was not zoned for business.
The Brazil City Plan Commission made no recommendation regarding the matter, leaving the decision up to the council.
Rothrock submitted a petition and letters of recommendation in support of the zoning change, but her neighbor worked just as hard in an attempt to have the rezoning declined.
"There has got to be a better way to do this outside of the city limits," Jack Hayes, Brazil, said while submitting his own petition with 18 signatures against the rezoning.
Council member Sam Glover voiced his own concerns.
"I'm afraid of the precedence we might be setting if we pass this," he said. "It might open things up for anyone to be rezoned for business and I am not too sure about doing that, especially in the historical district."
Other residents in attendance expressed their opinion that if they were not able to maintain their licenses, and have to get rid of their cats, they would let them loose in the town long before putting them down.
"We are helping the city out of our own pockets by taking in the strays, and now we are getting penalized for it," Don Bryan, Brazil, said. "The city should have known the laws when issuing the permits."
Despite the urging to pass the rezoning, the council voted, unanimously, to deny the request.
During the meeting, the council also:
* Passed two other rezoning requests. One allows a section of Forest Green Subdivision to be zoned for multi-family residential properties, which will be used to build five duplexes. The other rezoned a property owned by Frank Beasley from suburban residential to open industrial to allow a salvage yard on the property. The land had, in the past, been zoned for such use,
* Approved an ordinance setting leave for an officer injured in the line of duty. The ordinance states an officer in that situation to receive full pay for up to a year, pending regular hearings, before sick and vacation days have to be used, and
* Approved final action on two resolutions for tax abatements for IVC. The city also had to pass the abatements since the property of the former MI building sits partially within the city limits.
Mayor Ann Bradshaw reminded those in attendance of a special work session on April 17, at 6 p.m., regarding potentially making changes to the city's sign ordinance.
The next regular meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil will be Tuesday, May 13, at 7 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall