Aberdeen OKs Music Venue, Delays Chicken Ordinance
This meeting was one for the birds.
When the feathers settled on this fowl-centric meeting, Aberdeen Commissioners delayed a vote to regulate chickens in town limits but approved a conditional use permit to allow The Rooster’s Wife to host live music.
Commissioners on Monday delayed voting on the chicken regulations after Commissioner Alan Parker raised concerns about language in the ordinance that he said could give amnesty to rooster owners who are violating the current rules, which allow the male birds if the owners meet other requirements.
“Basically we are giving amnesty to somebody that is breaking the law right now,” he said. “If you are breaking the law right now, why should we give you a free pass? That’s what it boils down to.”
The matter likely will be considered at the town's next work session at 5:30 p.m. on March 29.
But commissioners did grant The Rooster’s Wife a conditional use permit to hold live music events at the Poplar Knight Spot on Knight Street downtown.
Janet Kenworthy and Priscilla Johnson had asked for the permit, and about 30 residents attended the meeting in support. They applauded following the board’s approval.
“I never wanted to be out of step with the town,” Kenworthy said. “I am glad this is officially resolved.”
The permit contains several conditions. The business must comply with all town noise ordinances. A working decibel meter, which must be kept on- site, will be used to measure noise. Noise levels shall not exceed 45 decibels at the nearest residential property line and shall not exceed 55 decibels at the closest property line of a nearby business.
If police or code enforcement staff determine that required noise levels are exceeded more than once in a month or three times in one year, the operator will have to provide a noise study to determine any modifications. Those improvements would have to be done within 60 days of notification, unless the Planning Board waives it.
“There are no conditions that I have any problem meeting,” Kenworthy said.
The Rooster’s Wife regularly holds music events at the Poplar Knight Spot, which is located at 114 Knight St.
In the ordinance regulating chickens, residents would be forbidden to keep roosters. The language Parker questioned gives amnesty to anyone who lives within the town limits and currently owns roosters — legally or illegally — until the birds die. Roosters live an average of six to eight years.
Under the current ordinance, residents can keep roosters, provided they meet certain requirements related to lot size.
The section of the new ordinance Parker questions reads:
“Nonconforming Situations: ... Coops are yarding areas that were lawful prior to the effective date of this ordinance shall be subject to article VIII, Nonconforming Situations, of this code.
“The owners of coops and yarding areas that were unlawful prior to the effective date of the ordinance shall have six months from the effective date to bring said coops and yarding areas into conformity with this ordinance. Roosters living within the planning and zoning jurisdiction of the town as of the effective date of this ordinance may remain until they die, but shall not be replaced.
“Chickens or other domestic fowl living within the planning and zoning jurisdiction of the town as of the effective date of this ordinance that are illegal or lawful nonconformities with respect to the ordinance may remain until they die, but they shall not be replaced.”
Parker favors amnesty for Aberdeen residents who now legally own roosters.
He asked during the meeting that the ordinance be delayed until the entire council, town manager, planner and attorney could discuss the ordinance.
Commissioner Robbie Farrell, Town Manager Bill Zell and Town Planner Kathy Liles were away on business, and the town attorney was not present.
Parker believes his concerns can be resolved with some minor edits to the language in the current ordinance.
In other business: the commissioners delayed a vote on an ordinance that, if approved, would adopt the gross receipts method of privilege license taxation. Parker requested the issue be delayed until a future meeting because the commissioners had recently received additional information on the topic.
Mayor Betsy Mofield proclaimed March 11-17 Girl Scout Week in Aberdeen in celebration of 100 years of Girl Scouting. Members of Girl Scout Troop 1944 attended the meeting.
Mofield also proclaimed March 16 Arbor Day in the town. There will be an Arbor Day program and tree planting at 11 a.m. that day at the Aberdeen Recreation Station.
The commissioners welcomed Carrie Council as the new program coordinator with the Aberdeen Parks and Recreation Department.
Commissioners appointed Elease Goodwin, Dene Moon, Dale Streicker, Wayne Clay, Gail Clay, Janet Peele and Eldiweiss Lockey to the Appearance and Beautification Commission.
More like this story