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Aurora's pool, animal zoning rules could be changed

by BOB GAETJENS | REPORTER Published: September 28, 2016 1:00 AM
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Aurora -- The city is considering 12 ordinances amending various sections of its zoning code, and a public hearing on them has been set for Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.

Many of the changes will affect developers looking to build new homes and subdivisions, but others could change what existing residents can do with their properties.

"These really are to clean up some sections to make things a little more practical and conform to what we're seeing [in other municipalities]," said Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin.

Animal laws proposed

Among the proposed changes are some affecting owners of animals that are kept outdoors.

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Womer Benjamin said updating animal regulations has become a balancing act for the community.

"Aurora was originally a farming community," she said. "There are those who move to Aurora for its rural nature, and there are also those who move here for the increasingly suburban character."

One of the ordinances defines new rules for outdoor shelters and enclosures, including:

Animal pens and shelters shall not be located in the front or side yard.

Small animal shelters shall not exceed 10 feet in height.

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Enclosures may not include residential structures or garages.

Animal feed containers must be impenetrable by rodents, insects and predators.

Any portion of property dedicated to keeping larger animals must be "fully enclosed by a fence that confines such animals to the property."

Any shelter or housing for roosters must be at least 500 feet from property lines.

Another animal-related ordinance would add "rabbits" to the definition of small animals.

If approved, the definition would read: "'Small animal' means animals, which by contemporary community standards, are considered to be a household pets and which is a species commonly housed within a dwelling designed and used for human occupation, including dogs, domestic birds, fish and rabbits."

Womer Benjamin said the city receives "a lot of questions about animals."

Pools and hot tubs

Rules for the location of swim-

ming pools and hot tubs also could be updated by some of the ordinances under consideration.

Womer Benjamin said pools are currently considered an accessory structure, and there are limits to how many accessory structures are permitted on a property.

One of the ordinances would remove a sentence defining a pool as an accessory structure.

"Pools, I think, are increasingly common," said Womer Benjamin. "Pools would no longer be counted in the accessory limitation."

The same proposed law would require that pools be at least 15 feet from the principal building on the property and no closer than 10 feet from property lines.

Hot tubs and spas, however, could be located closer to the main building, according to the proposed ordinance.

The new law also would add a requirement that pools adjoining houses be secured by a fence and gates. Pools on properties of 10 acres or more and those with locking covers would be exempted from the requirement, according to the proposed law.

Womer Benjamin said the pool-related changes are proposed for safety reasons.

Email: bgaetjens@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4188

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