July 24, 2014

Planning Commission preps for meeting about mini horse

Amy Cunningham
acunningham@gardnernews.com

Interim Gardner City Administrator Melissa Mundt warned Planning Commissioners they may see the owners of a miniature horse before them at an upcoming meeting scheduled for June 28.

“At the next meeting there should be a conditional use permit (before you),” Mundt explained.

Flower Souter offers pet mini-horse, Blazer, a snack. The Souters must seek approval Gardner's Planning Commission to keep Blazer in their subdivision. File photo

She said the horse’s owners, the Souter family were initially granted a permit to keep their pet at their Gardner residence by animal control, under the watch of the Gardner Police Department.

While the Souter family believed they had completed the necessary requirements to keep their pet at their home, the governing body was unaware of the animal’s presence in a residential neighborhood until a neighbor called the city to complain. However, Mundt stated,  a loophole in city codes that would require approval from zoning, which is overseen by the Planning Commission, had gone unnoticed.

“On one wing of the government they had a right (to keep the animal in town), but zoning would trump that,” she explained to commissioners.

“As far as owning farm animals – anything under three acres, we don’t allow and that is a standard amount,” Mundt said, comparing the city’s code with codes of other similar city’s in the area.  “From a community development perspective farm animals aren’t allowed.”

According to Mundt, the city has been working with the family to establish a timeline for Blazer the horse to find a new home. The family prepares to bring their case before the commission to ask for an exception for their pet.

Mundt said the city often must walk a fine line – in this case balancing the rights of the pet owners with the rights of their neighbors. She also said that community development would begin working on new language to shore up codes so similar situations will not arise in the future.

“We’re working with both departments (the police and zoning) to come up with something the council will think is fair,” she said.

Comments

  1. Licausi’s corner at 183rd & Center St. still hasn’t been mowed. Blazer, the mini-horse, sure is needed on that corner since Developer Licausi has already got what he wants from the citizens (perhaps more coming if we only knew) and doesn’t feel inclined to mow the weeds on that corner. You only see Licausi when he shows up at City Hall or at a Council meeting with his hand out when he wants some more corporate welfare – that is my opinion. Bigger problems in the world than Blazer, such as the thieves the politicians work for, but his owners do have to follow the law.

  2. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    During scheduled business at their monthly meeting on May 24, members of the Planning Commission voted to:

    • Re-elect Jason Burnett as Planning Commission Chairman and Greg Godwin as Vice-Chairman for the 2011-2012 term

    • Forward to City Council with recommendation for approval a 10-year Conditional Use Permit for Faith Chapel Gardner Campus Community Services to conduct church services during non-business hours in space currently occupied by Jazzercise at 812 S Creekside Drive (SE corner of S. Moonlight Road and S. Woodson Lane)

    • Approve a site plan by USD 231 Gardner Edgerton School District for seven additional modular classroom units at Moonlight Elementary School which will be combined into a single building located west of and matching the four-unit modular building that was installed last year. A sidewalk will be constructed to connect the units to the school and to other sidewalks in the vicinity. More details available at: http://www.gardnerkansas.gov/images/uploads/CommunityDevelopment/Planning/PC/Packets/2011/052411/NB3_SP-11-03%20Moonlight%20Elementary%20Modular%202%20SR.pdf

    In other business, just before adjournment, Acting Community Development Director Melissa Mundt advised commissioners that, due to a recent controversy, the Souter family would likely submit on June 28 a request for a conditional use permit to keep their pet mini-horse at their home. Mundt told commissioners that pending revisions to city codes to clarify pet ownership and animal control standards within Gardner city limits would also be brought before the planning board.

  3. Jerry L Kellogg Sr says:

    I forgot to mention that the modular classroom additions at Moonlight Elementary are permitted for not more than three years.

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