Animal ordinance not welcomed

Mark Brooky • Oct 27, 2015 at 1:01 PM

Instead of exercising the humility and leadership required of his office, and calling a joint meeting with the Planning Commission to discuss his rationale, he abandoned time-honored processes creating an unnecessary and irresponsible regulation. He says it’s an “avenue of relief” to a single family claiming challenges with dairy products.

This doesn’t pass the sniff test, as we’re in a golden age of food production with stores bursting with product, meeting every dietary need in a sustainable, humane way. Even McDonald’s is pledging “cage-free” eggs to end the confining animals.

As trends dictate more humane treatment of animals, Ferrysburg veers in the opposite direction with Ordinance 285 requiring animals confined to small, backyard pens and cages. And that’s if one thinks farm animals on residential lots is a good idea, which many don’t since the keeping of farm animals is not even part of the city’s Master Land Use Plan.

Some chortle at the hullabaloo created by Mayor Ruiter and his slim council majority. What’s less humorous is the notion of their tinkering with zoning, free of traditional restraints in working with our Planning Commission, the city planner and residents.

On Nov. 3, residents should vote “yes“ to repeal a questionable land-use ordinance that’s inconsistent with our traditional land-use norms, and to send an unmistakable message to Mayor Ruiter that we expect adherence to a more responsible planning process from him and his approbative majority (Rebecca Hopp, Kathleen Kennedy and Mike DeWitt) on the Ferrysburg City Council.

Tim Scarpino, Ferrysburg

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