YORK — The York County Council will cast votes Monday on a plan to restrict tethering countywide a rule endorsed by animal control officials as a way to reduce the threat aggressive dogs pose to county residents when they break their chains and run loose.
The council also will take another look at a plan to restrict what colors property owners in the Lake Wylie area can paint buildings, a plan the council passed in name only in early September, citing numerous concerns.
The tethering restrictions are the latest edition in ongoing efforts to revamp the countys animal laws, which are lacking in several ways, county leaders say.
Adding new regulations on pet owners hasnt been a popular idea among council members. But at a debate Thursday, council Chairman Britt Blackwell lauded the plan as great and said he hopes the council gets on board.
Councilman David Bowman said Friday that hes fully committed to it. Without fully committing, Chad Williams said hes open to the idea because its clear that animal control officers need more enforcement tools, he said.
Under the plan, while pet owners are away, tethering could no longer be the primary means of restraining a dog.
The dog would have to be kept in a secure enclosure or restrained on a trolley line running between two fixed points. The animal would be connected to the trolley line and would be free to move up and down and across the line.
The proposal doesnt call for an all-out ban on tethering.
The practice would still be allowed if the owner is present and has the dog under direct supervision. The tether would have to be at least 10 feet in length, swivel at both ends and give the animal 360-degree access around the fixed point.
A pet owner also could continue tethering if the dog is restrained by other means, such as a fence.
The changes include several updates endorsed by county leaders and animal control employees, including expanding their jurisdiction to cover all animals not just dogs and cats and clarifying definitions of adequate shelter, dangerous animals and other terms.
If adopted, the new rules will give county animal control officers the ability to enforce some state laws without calling the sheriffs office.
Earlier revisions, which were aimed at cracking down on puppy mills, fighting rings and dog attacks by imposing new regulations on pet owners, have hit roadblocks, with opponents wondering whether the plans would pose more of a hassle to law-abiding pet owners than good to the community.
The council will consider giving the second of three approvals needed to implement the changes. A public hearing would be scheduled for a later date.
Lake Wylie building code
A proposal to restrict color schemes and design aesthetics for nonresidential buildings in Lake Wylie also will get a second look Monday.
The changes are aimed at creating a seamless look through design standards and restricting the colors on nonresidential buildings, prohibiting bright primary and secondary, neon, and psychedelic colors.
The proposal also requests that existing property owners to comply if the changes are adopted.
York County Planning and Development Director Dave Pettine said such changes would be new to the county. These types of laws are usually seen in historic districts or along scenic byways, not along these types of corridors, he said.
Questions remain about how the changes would be carried out such as how appropriate colors would be defined or whether such changes would require someone to get a permit to paint a building, he said.
The proposal came about after a county staff meeting was held to discuss the areas future growth. Neighbors complained about the Auto Money Title Loans, which opened recently on Charlotte Highway/U.S. 21. The business moved into an existing space and painted the building bright yellow and the roof shingles and shutters green.
The owner of the business did not return a request for comment Friday.
Councilman Bruce Henderson asked county planning officials to look into the changes.
The council has expressed hesitation about enacting new regulations on businesses. Those who gave initial approval said they wanted to hear public input.
On Monday, the council will consider giving the second of three nods needed to enact the changes. A public hearing would be scheduled for a later date before any changes take effect.
Jamie Self 803-329-4062