Wednesday, March 7, 2012

NORCO: City to create new fee for keeping roosters

NORCO: City to create new fee for keeping roosters

The Norco City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on proposed fees for property owners housing 16 or more roosters.

The fees are part of a recent revision to the city’s code that regulates roosters in an effort to prevent illegal
cockfighting. The rule also seeks to reduce noise from the birds in residential areas.

A conditional use permit would be required for property owners who keep more than 16 roosters on their land. The initial application fee would be $351, in addition to an animal control inspection charge of $57, totaling $408, according to a city report.

After receiving an initial permit, an annual renewal fee would cost $62 plus an animal control inspection for $57, amounting to $119, the report said.

The conditional use permit cost is based on the amount of staff time required to complete the process, while animal control charges a flat $57 for inspections, the report said. In comparison, a conditional use fee for miniature pigs costs $351 with an annual renewal charge of $62.

The charges cover an initial application, staff report, legal advertising, a presentation to the Norco Planning Commission and an animal control inspection.

In January, city officials tightened restrictions on keeping roosters by reducing the number allowed on residential lots.
 Four roosters are permitted on 10,000 to 19,000 square-foot lots while 16 roosters must be housed on properties about a half-acre in size.

Owners need roughly an acre for 55 roosters. Regardless of the property size, anyone with 16 or more roosters must have a conditional use permit, which allows animal regulation officials to inspect the property and enact specific restrictions.

The city also recently changed the way it counts roosters. Instead of considering a cock an adult rooster when it reaches seven months, younger birds are counted as adults as soon as they
begin to crow, which would reduce the number of roosters.

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