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Council tables code proposals, wants more time to review

By Jefferson Weaver, The News Reporter

The ongoing rewrite of the city’s code will be broken down into smaller sections to be considered.

The Whiteville City Council was scheduled to vote on four proposed ordinances to replace or augment existing and sometimes outdated regulations at its regular meeting last week. City Manager Darren Currie said the council tabled the four proposed rules so the board could further review the proposals.

The city is in the midst of a sweeping recodification designed to update the local rules enforced in the city. The code contains everything from building requirements to animal control rules, and some of the regulations are outdated, unnecessary, redundant and in the case of some personnel policies that are no longer used, potentially illegal. City Clerk Bonnie Williams has been tasked with updating the code book.

“The council decided that taking on all of these at the same time was just a little too much,” Currie said. “They wanted some more time to go through them and consider them more thoroughly.”

Among the regulations being proposed Tuesday were clarified rules for keeping pets and poultry in the city. One of the amended rules, if adopted, would require that anyone feeding a stray animal for more than two days to get the animal vaccinated for rabies as required by state law.

The new animal proposal also covers pet pigs, and provides a distinction between swine and true pets, such as kunes and potbelly pigs. Riding or driving animals on the sidewalks is also prohibited under the proposal. Most cities and towns, including Whiteville, only permit horses and equine-drawn carts or wagons to be operated on roadways, following the same laws as motor vehicles.

The city also has a number of rules regarding firearms scattered throughout the extant code, Currie said. The proposal would bring all those into a single section.

Better rules regarding itinerant peddlers and panhandling are also among the proposals.

Currie said the recodification is a length but important process. Some of the rules were obviously passed for a specific time or place, while others leave officials scratching their heads.

“One of the regulations – I have to find it again for the exact wording — requires that cold beer be sold in the city,” Currie said.

Council will review the new proposals in several upcoming meetings.

Stuart Rogers