SYRACUSE -- The urban sprawl into this farming community has created a developing controversy regarding the kinds and number of animals allowed in areas.
City officials have wrestled with proposed changes to Title 10 of city code in regard to animals, and a proposed outline of new revisions unveiled Tuesday left some people at odds.
The proposed revisions include registering cats and limiting how many dogs and cats can be in any home, as well as addressing a point system for what kind of animals can be kept on what size properties.
The issue of animal husbandry versus animal cruelty also has been raised.
The planning commission voted Feb. 22 to forward the proposed changes to the city council for review and potential approval.
Any review seems sure to initiate even more discussion. Several residents used the public comment portion of the Feb. 28 council meeting to air their concerns.
Amanda Russell said a point system for animals and limiting a household to a combined total of three dogs or cats is too restrictive.
"We should be able to decide if we want four dogs. We love our animals here. We came here (to the city) for agriculture. You need to be kind to us," she said.
Other residents echoed similar concerns.
"Syracuse is a farming community. Our ordinances should reflect that. Therefore, they should be less restrictive," Cornell Bean said of the proposed code revisions.
He said he doesn't understand the need for city officials to control the number of animals a resident can have.
Amy Rupert raised concerns of potential changes on her ability to have chickens on her 1 1/2-acre spread.
"I have a lot of chickens. I choose to have a lot of eggs. I kill the chickens to feed my family. I think it's wrong we have limits," she said.
The guidelines calls for a point system to determine permitted animal uses, depending on the size of the property.
For example, large animals like a cow or horse, are assigned 20 points and require a large plot property, while pigeons are assigned two points and would be permissible on smaller lots, along with rabbits or chickens.