Council denies rezoning request

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

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

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  • That is terrible that one person who is trying to help the stray population here is against the "ordinance" but it's ok for the vast amounts of strays to run freely here in town and tear up our trash, yards, etc.... This is really is a pitiful thing for this town.

    -- Posted by chickenlady on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 8:24 AM
  • The Mayor says one thing and does another! STOP THIS INSANITY!!!! Why make the poor dogs and cats be stuck in the middle of a political battle!

    -- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 9:08 AM
  • I am so glad that this went through. There is a cat problem the way it is. She may be trying to help out, but leave that to the humane shelter. Lets clean Brazil up!

    -- Posted by BrazilScholarly on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 9:25 AM
  • So, you are willing to give more money to the Humane Shelter to help out with this problem???

    -- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 10:33 AM
  • Does anybody know if Beasley's property is in town or outside of the Brazil City Limits?

    I'd personally hate to live next to a junk yard here in town.

    -- Posted by sceptic on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 11:36 AM
  • Let's just hope they don't start running up and down our sidewalks and tripping on signs!!!!

    -- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 11:40 AM
  • If you really want to clean up Brazil get some of the trash out of Brazil. I personally hate to drive down the street at all hours of the night and see kids walking the streets. Just drive down some side roads or Hwy 59 and look at some of the dump houses that are on the streets and we are complaining about some cats that a lady has so graciosly taken in so that they don't have to be put down. Yeah right let the Humane shelter take care of it well they will only if you pay them a fee to take them in.

    -- Posted by beautiful978 on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 2:38 PM
  • There is not a fee to drop off animals at the shelter. If the animal is a stray then they do not charge you. Yes, they aprpreciate donations but they are not mandated.

    BUT... If all the people with more than one unaltered animal have to get rid of them due to this ordinance then they may well start charging.

    -- Posted by madmom61 on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 2:58 PM
  • Well, I here it is a $250.00 fine a day for the cat lady to keep these cats by the city guide lines. Well if the council would look around there are trashy places that the people do not care about in this town, at least these cats are taken care of and most altered to help keep population down and the cat lady is trying to do this the correct and lawful way. I understand that we need to work toward a better and more improved city but this is silly, hear is someone trying to help and once again "Shot Down"! does the city council think "new or old" I think we need some fresh and more open minded openions in city council. Look at the big picture. Or maybe if they fine enough people for this silly suff and the hole sign issue for small businesses and hold people liable they can pay-off the over $700.000.00 dollars that the city is in debt. Hope there is not a fine for negitive funds for the city, oh also can we fine the city for the damage to our shocks, tires, and other car problem caused by the horrible street conditions of the city.

    How can we really clean-up the town if we will not assist the public people who are trying to better it!

    -- Posted by computerdx on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 5:39 PM
  • I have contacted the HSUS and will be contacting the Animal Legal Defense Fund. The city shouldn't have the right to grant me something that I worked hard for and paid for (meaning my Kennel License) and then just be able to take it away like they are doing. I feel like I am climbing a huge mountain but I can't do this all by myself. I don't see why the city of Brazil can't just make an exception or grandfather me in. The City isn't helping my situation at all and it was in a great way their fault. Why should me, my husband and all of our animals be penalized? I did what they asked of, I worked hard and this is what I get. Please come and see our home - I give you my word that you will be amazed and impressed. Please - I beg of you. People need to know about this. Also - just to clarify the situation regarding my Golden Retriever that the Brazil Times mentions as well - My Golden is only going on 8 months old right now and hasn't even reached her first season and I strongly believe in breeding only the best of the breed. I haven't even gotten her hips and/or her eyes cleared yet. According to the Brazil Times, my neighbor, Jack Hayes states he has worked just as hard against this and that is not true. We have been remodeling our house here in excess of two years now. It takes much more than just passing a petition around to understand what it means to work hard in this situation. I have diligently altered, wormed, freed all of our animals from any/all internal and external parisites and ALL our up to date on their vaccinations and I have all of the reciepts to prove it. I can't even begin to tell you how much time, money, effort, sweat, hard work and love it has taken from me and my husband to take the high caliber of care in all of our animals. You just have to see it to believe it. We have been working years for this. Please come and see - People need to see the whole story.

    -- Posted by catlady on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 6:02 PM
  • Ooops, I almost forgot to add this - I currently house 31 DOMESTICATED cats - Not a one is now a stray and/or ferral. We have taken in (rescued) a total of only 4 ferral cats over one year ago, which have now all been reformed to be domesticated cats which 3 out of those 4 particular cats are now extremely sweet and loving. If the board (particularly Sam Glover) is so "scared of the precedence we might be setting if we pass this" and taking away from the "historical district". I guess then having the Reburgers Self Storage located just a few blocks south of us is definitely adding to the historical value - NOT!!!!! Which, in addition, since this has all started from me trying to be legit about this and the zoning - Do you really want me to go there???? Do you really want me to start listing off all of the businesses located here in town that ARE NOT ZONED. Try me - I dare you.

    -- Posted by catlady on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 6:16 PM
  • I applaud you and your husband catlady!! Fight this as far as you can!! If there is anything we can do as a community to help a fellow citizen, I am right there!!

    We have about 15 to 20 stray cats in my neighborhood all stemming from 2 or 3 cats that a neighbor of mine decided they didn't want inside and they let them live outside.... and guess what?? They were not fixed... But they are a "respected" family in this community.... hmmmmm sound familiar??? PITIFUL!!!

    Good luck catlady!!! Lord knows that those poor little souls need you!!

    -- Posted by chickenlady on Thu, Apr 10, 2008, at 7:05 PM
  • We stand with you catlady! You try to do the right thing and get shot down!

    And I REALLY agree with enforcing ALL ordinances or none. This picking and choosing is not working!

    -- Posted by madmom61 on Fri, Apr 11, 2008, at 6:51 AM
  • Pandoras Box is OPEN! This is just a bad situation for everyone and everything involved. If people chose to have them in their homes and not let them roam..then what is the problem? This just goes to prove there are people out there that have nothing else better to complain about. Why are the people who have tried to be good citizens penalized?

    This ordinance is a JOKE. Since the ordinance reads.."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" You can take a 5 minutes drive through the streets of Brazil and see probably 20-30 propertys with more then 1 UNALTERED animal...let alone the people who let them roam. Trust me there are many more animal ordinances that need to be on the books. YOU would be amazed at all the animals who are abandoned, chained with log chains around their necks, and starved. It just goes to prove how people feel about animals. The animals around this area are treated as property rather then a part of the family. Catlady treats these animals with respect and does not let them roam free. GREAT JOB Catlady!

    Im very tired of everyone blaming the shelter! In October of 2006 the shelter began a low cost spay neuter clinic for everyone. You cant beat the price. Granted the shelter does have some issues, but we all do. I am a very avid animal lover, but do feel the shelter should euthanize animals when they run out of room. Why would you let a animal continue to roam free and reproduce? That mentality sort of goes against twhat the shelter stands for. Euthanizing..if done correctly, is very humane. Trust me its not a job ANYONE wants to do, but there is a necessity. When tax dollars are accepted then the burden lies on the shelter to do a job. The burden is also on the public to have their pets altered.

    The shelter receives $25,000 a year from the city. This money does not go far when you have to care for 150- 200 animals at any one given time. Careing for these unwanted animals is no easy task and is very costly. IT is also costly to euthanize these animals and have to dispose of them. There are some on the board of directors that absolutly refuse to euthanize...SORRY but the shelter is not a NO KILL SANCUTARY! I think its time for these board members to move on and open a NO KILL SANCTUARY! IM not saying the shelter should be a killing field, but I think people need to be reasonable.

    -- Posted by WhyInBrazil on Fri, Apr 11, 2008, at 8:15 AM
  • Way to go Cat lady!

    -- Posted by WhyInBrazil on Fri, Apr 11, 2008, at 1:57 PM
  • the humane shelter gets 52,000$ a year from the city and the county. and the shelter does put animals down at one time a number of cat was being put down at one time the county needs to take control of the shelter and run it and then maybe something well be done. the cats do no harm.the board members of the shelter are blind and act like they care. i dont see where they do. someone needs to investigate where all the money is going.. for the animals

    -- Posted by whathappened on Fri, Apr 11, 2008, at 4:40 PM
  • Ann sure likes her ordinances! Maybe the cats should roam the sign free side walks!

    (Which by the way, have as many potholes and cracks as the least the quaint signs covered those up!)

    -- Posted by northview_mom on Fri, Apr 11, 2008, at 5:03 PM
  • whathappened.... What are you doing to help the problem? You seem to have a lot of facts about the board and the money situation. I am sure you donate your time to try to help???

    -- Posted by madmom61 on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 7:42 AM
  • To all who is interested - Please come to city hall for the meeting about animal ordinanace on Thursday, April 24th at 6 p.m.. Channel 10 WTHI will be there and they were here at my house, 624 N Forest Ave, today for this story. Watch channel 10 WTHI news tonight at 11 o'clock. Thank you so much everyone for your support and encouragement and for being there.

    -- Posted by catlady on Mon, Apr 14, 2008, at 4:15 PM
  • So. A 'salvage' (junk) yard is acceptable to Brazil. A no-kill shelter that does the Brazil's dirty work and has a permit, is not.

    An obvious question is: Who did Mr. Frank Beasley pay off?

    Another is: How many old car parts would the Rothrock's have to toss out in their yard to get a similar exemption?

    -- Posted by Kakarot on Wed, Apr 16, 2008, at 2:12 PM
  • Good home. Good person. Exceptional community service. Humane treatment of animals. Such is Tammy's plight. It is a shame that good deeds do not go unpunished. The "humane society" is rewarded for killing animals and kindness is treated as a crime. SHAME ON THE CITY OF BRAZIL. I was hoping we as human beings had grown more than that. Clearly not. I pray the city of Brazil will do the right and rightous thing and support a citizen in a noble cause. "The greatness of a nation and it's moral purpose can be judged by the way it's animals are treated." Gandhi

    -- Posted by melw2 on Wed, Apr 16, 2008, at 6:23 PM
  • I'm sorry but this is a disgrace. You have two model residents in your town/city and you're treating them like second rate citizens. Compassion is the new fashion and how do we teach children compassion when you punish compassionate people. Now if you'd check and found dirty, sickly cats that would be a different story, but that is not what is going on here. This isn't as horrific as what Rushville did to Gabby, but it's still not going to sit well with the animal activist community. This is going out all over myspace and care2 network. I'm sure we can get some people there to stand with Tammy and her husband. I know I'm now coming. It's time for change it's time to take a stand for animals. I pray My Best Friends will attend.

    -- Posted by Kathychad on Sat, Apr 19, 2008, at 1:10 AM
  • Tammy seems to be trying to fulfill a much needed service to the community. It would be helpful if she were given the support to do it. Rezone and allow her to operate legally.

    (She could very easily be doing this under the radar, but she chooses to be law abiding. My gosh, give her the ability to continue!!!)

    -- Posted by mkaee on Sat, Apr 19, 2008, at 8:36 PM

    -- Posted by Marla d. on Sun, Apr 20, 2008, at 3:14 PM
  • To Brazil committee members, first and foremost, you work for the citizens of Brazil by whom you were elected. Listen to what your citizens are saying to you:

    "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."

    You, as a committee, issued these permits in good faith as well as rezoning the Rothrock property to business. The citizens are practically demanding a NO-KILL shelter which will be privately run (no tax dollars are needed from you).

    You were elected upon your good word, you NEED TO KEEP YOUR WORD GOOD!!!

    A very concerned citizen,

    ~~ Justme

    Advocate for the Voiceless

    -- Posted by justmeummm on Sun, Apr 20, 2008, at 10:01 PM
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