By Mike Steely

If you are not a kennel, pet shop, zoo or animal shelter you might be in violation of a city ordinance if you have more than four cats and dogs at your home. The language of the current law will be considered by the City Council on first-reading Tuesday to make the rules more understandable.


The ordinance to amend the city code that currently now limits the number of dogs and cats to four per household, not the number of pets per person,  if the pets are 6-months of age or older. The amendment is being requested by the City Law Department and would take effect 30 days after a second reading, possibly next month.


Exempt are licensed animal shelters, zoos of government agencies, humane societies, incorporated institutes of higher learning, and a circus or animal exhibit that is officially recognized.


You can own more than four pets if you apply and receive a permit for boarding pets, if you operate a kennel, if you operate a pet shop or area a pet dealer with a permit. All of these categories would be subject to inspection by officials, animal control officers or a police officer. Permits would need to be reviewed each January.


The City Council will also hear from Rocky Swingle and opponents of the rezoning for the new Tennova Hospital. The Planning Commission approved the rezoning on use-on-review and Swingle is presenting a petition signed by 16 neighborhood home owners.


The petition says the construction of the hospital on Middlebrook Pike is not needed and would be “intrusive” to adjacent neighborhoods, cause traffic problems, loss of habitat and open space and even displace animals. The petition also says that construction would cause noise and possible flooding.


Other items on the agenda include partnering with the Zoo to apply for a grant of $250,000 for a renewable energy system there, considering rezoning property on Deaderick Avenue for the Boys &  Girls Club, and finalizing the ordinance to allow home offices in Low Density Exclusive Neighborhoods.


The heights of signs, ground signs and monument signs in the city will also be considered and the council will also look at the codes relating to wrecker rotation and charges.