SYRACUSE -- Proposed revisions of the city's land-use ordinance do not include a cat licensing fee.
City officials moved to strike language in the ordinance for feline licensing during a recent city council meeting to consider land-use changes. Dogs will still need to be licensed.
Besides dropping the cat licensing requirement, language requiring cat owners get a conditional-use permit for more than two cats was eliminated at the behest of Councilman Craig Johnson.
Johnson's move to amend the proposed ordinance was the only one that formally moved forward March 14.
Final passage of the land-use changes stalled when Councilwoman Karianne Lisonbee raised questions involving animal husbandry as it relates to possible animal cruelty and the differences between county and state code.
City staff members are expected to tweak the guidelines and then bring them back to the council for more review and possible passage in the near future.
Months in the works, proposed changes to the code have ranged from discussion on how many pigeons are safe within city limits in September to recent discussion about the number of dogs and cats residents can have in combination at any one residence to restrictions on roosters.
The proposed guidelines actually relax the city's existing 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, rabbits and chickens are each assigned two points and are allowed on smaller lots.
Even though a final package hasn't been approved, residents continue to use the public comment portion of the council meeting to weigh in on the animal guidelines.
Douglas Merrill urged lawmakers to consider the impact of dogs on neighbors in suggesting the ordinance address barking dogs and possible requirements for privacy fences.
Former Councilman Matthew Kimmel also weighed in on the issue, urging his former colleagues to protect local property rights.
"I hope you give freedom a chance."