• September 17, 2014

Council changes fencing, animal laws

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Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2008 5:34 am | Updated: 5:10 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Joshua Winata

The Cove Herald

The Copperas Cove code of ordinances has started its makeover on Tuesday with the City Council’s adoption of amendments to regulations concerning fencing, animals and pets and through-truck transportation.

A review committee was appointed by the council last month to overhaul the city’s code of ordinances, but the council has been hearing proposals for changes from city staff since the beginning of the year.

Taking effect immediately are revisions concerning fencing and animals and fowl ordinances. On Jan. 3, the City Council heard a presentation by Chief Mike Heintzelman of alterations to the animal and fowl ordinances, followed by a Jan. 10 joint workshop with the Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss changes in the fencing ordinances, led by Interim City Planner Scott Wallace.

New animal ordinances create stricter penalties and rules for dangerous animals and higher fines for violators. Heintzelman said a proposed requirement for signage on all gates and entrances to yards with dangerous animals discussed in the workshop last month was removed because it was deemed “too controversial.”

“If everybody posted a sign on an entrance to every gate where there was an animal, it would take so much away from that dangerous animal warning,” City Attorney James Thompson said.

Changes in the fencing ordinance permit deeper setbacks, which allow property owners to claim larger yards, and extend the maximum height for fences.

The final ordinance amendment adopted by the council restricts through-truck traffics, or transport vehicles with no destination or pick-up or delivery point within the city limits, to state-maintained routes in an effort to reduce damage to city roadways. The change was presented to council by Thompson and Streets Department Director James Trevino on Jan. 15.

Richard Brown, spokesman for the Texas Department of Transportation, said TxDOT “is willing to accept those trucks on to the state system. That’s what the state system is designed to do, is to handle through-trucks of that weight. We can do that on our roads efficiently.”

Through-trucks are permitted to use U.S. Highway 190 and Farm-to-Market 116, FM 1113, FM 3046 and FM 2657.

The through-truck ordinance will take effect April 15 to give sufficient notice to vehicles traveling through the city.

During a workshop Tuesday, Heintzelman proposed yet another amendment in the ordinance pertaining to vehicles for hire and wrecker services initiated by the Copperas Cove Police Department after arrests or traffic accidents.

The changes will increase some of the rates for wrecker services on the police department’s rotation list to reflect increasing fuel prices and service fees.

Contact Joshua Winata at jpwinata@kdhnews.com or call (254) 547-6481

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