Village Board Caps Number of Pets Allowed During Special Session

By Jeremy Coumbes on September 30, 2022 at 2:59pm

Residents in the Village of South Jacksonville are now limited in how many pets they are allowed to own.

The Village Board of Trustees passed several ordinances during a special session last night. Among the measures passed was an ordinance limiting the number of pets any person could possess to no more than six total.

Village President Dick Samples says the ordinance does not specify how many of what kind of pet makes up the number, as long as there are no more than six. “It was an arbitrary number. We could have said four, we could have said ten, but six seemed to fit so that’s what we went with. That’s a combination of any number of cats and or dogs. It can be three and three, two and four, whatever but six is the limit”

Samples says there is no grandfather clause in the amended ordinance, so anyone now possessing more than six animals is in violation. The measure stems from continued complaints by residents in areas where some pet owners were known to have upwards of 20 or more cats that were allowed to roam freely in the neighborhood.

Also approved last night was a contract agreement with American Legal Publishing for updating the codification report for the village. Early last year the Board of Trustees approved a contract with American Legal Publishing near the end of Village President Harry Jennings’ term following a multi-year project to update or do away with old and outdated ordinances.

American Legal Publishing updates and produces an official copy of all of the Village’s ordinances and provides access to them online, which can also be accessed via the village’s website.

The contract was canceled later in the year by then Village President Tyson Manker, who said at the time, posting the ordinances to the website was something that could be done in-house. Samples says the canceling of the contract will end up costing the Village more money in the long run.

Mayor Manker wanted it killed and he did it, and this is something we fought for four years to make this go and it’s an absolute shame that it wasn’t continued last year. But the only thing it has done is cost us more money because they have to go back two years instead of one year.”

In other action taken by the board last night, ordinances to transfer water expenses for the Godfrey Park Splash Pad from general to tourism expense, and regulate telecommunication towers and windmills were passed. A special use zoning permit was also approved for a dog grooming service, as well as a $1,000 donation to the Morgan-Scott CEO Program.

All of last night’s measures received unanimous approval by the Board of Trustees.