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VIDEO Bird Feeding Ordinance On Hold, Residents Concerned About Bird Feeding Abuses

City Council discusses the ordinance proposed to regulate bird feeders in the city.

“In Tree City USA, are you kidding me?” said Jerry James, city councilman, as he explained that a proposed bird feeding ordinance to regulate bird seed and bird feeders may have been misunderstood by residents.

James said his intentions are not to ban bird feeders, but to find a way to address the concerns of his constituents who live in the River Estates, which includes bird seed overflow and rotting seed in yards. At the city council committee meeting Monday night, James said he's had a number of calls during the past week regarding the ordinance and he wanted to make his intentions clear.

“People have their bird feeders, and the birds kick the seed on the ground and they don’t clean it up. The seed rots and what happens; here comes the rats, the raccoons, the possums, the mice and all the other rodents that eat the seeds.”

James said he can count at least four unrelated incidents in the neighborhood on Ruth Avenue, Oakpark, Sylvan and Woodland Roads, where rodents have become a problem. In the video above, James explains he’s not anti-bird, but he wants to help resolve the rodent problem.

“We’re going to revisit it,” said Jerry James, city councilman. “I’m going to have to dig deeper than I did when it comes to checking to see what kind of existing ordinances we do have.”

James wasn’t alone, other members of council, including Carol Klinger, questioned if the current city ordinances already in place, were enough to address the problem or if the Summit County Health Department would have a solution.

Meanwhile, River Estates Resident George Theiss, who has contact the city regarding his neighbor’s habits, said the current ordinances aren’t helping him. City Development Director Sue Truby told council that the yard was inspected twice by the city and on the second visit, they found three bird feeders, two extra ears of corn and bird seed on the patio.

But Theiss said the city’s efforts are not enough. You can watch the neighbors address council with their concerns in the video above.

Even if this fails, James hopes the attention brought to this issue, might influence other residents to start cleaning the areas near their bird feeders. Council decided to hold the ordinance for two weeks while it sorts the details and reviews current ordinances in place. 

Thomas Sullivan May 17, 2011 at 03:42 PM
So we pass a law because someone has a problem with their neighbor, If the city has been out and the county has been out and nobody has a problem with what she is doing leave her alone, this amounts to someone thinking they can control another’s lifestyle by bullying and it is wrong!!! You should all be ashamed of yourselves I have rabbits and raccoons and a occasional possum and there is a few blocks between me and the river, it isn’t just River Estates and it certainly isn’t her bird feeder The solution is simple it you don’t want wildlife don’t move so close to it. The furry little fellows have been living next to the river longer than we have!!
Lindsay McCoy May 17, 2011 at 04:28 PM
Just to be clear, it's a proposal for a new ordinance that's on hold right now, nothing was passed. City council is going to examine its current ordinances to see if the ones they already have in place are sufficient enough. So I'll be sure to get an update on their determination in a couple weeks at their meeting Thomas!
Thomas Sullivan May 17, 2011 at 04:42 PM
Yea, I worded that wrong..I should have said So we want to pass a law... Sorry :)
Lindsay McCoy May 17, 2011 at 04:53 PM
I thought so ; ) Just don't want to add to the confusion this story has already endured lol.
Niko Bellic May 18, 2011 at 12:46 AM
WOW - Must be nice that Jerry James actually responds to the residents. I live in Ken Barnharts district and I have left him messages and never received a call back. I thought that was odd until I spoke with 2 other people on my street and they both told me he was unresponsive to them as well.
Kate Bigam May 18, 2011 at 01:52 AM
Respectfully, Mr. Sullivan, you've not seen this yard. We're all used to the occasional animal, to chipmunks that dig up our flower beds, to squirrels that leave acorns all over the place & racoons that get into the garbage. But Theiss is right, in this case. Our mutual neighbor's compost pile is out of control - if you're composting correctly, it should NOT smell or attract critters, as hers does. It's a shame this ordinance has become about bird feeders, when it was originally meant to require neighbors to maintain upkeep on their lawns, which some folks seem to be unwilling to do. Maybe Klett isn't "doing anything wrong" under the law, but she's certainly not acting in a neighborly way - something that's rare in quiet, friendly River Estates. If you like critters more than you like people, head to the country & have all the animals you want. This is suburbia - at least TRY to be a good neighbor, for crying out loud!
Thomas Sullivan May 18, 2011 at 09:30 AM
Kate, while I respect your opinion as a neighbor, I do have a real big problem with the idea of passing laws that affect the entire city in a aim to go after just one person. The proposed bird feeder ordinance basically took the existing ban on feeding and keeping pigeons and added wild and domesticated birds to it. The separate proposed composting ordinance ordinance would make it illegal to use a composting pile unless it had a manufactures tag or name on it. So in a effort to solve one problem we end up creating a hundred. Thats not my kind of Government , and I am sure if you were on the wrong end of it you would feel the same way. But I do respect you for having a opinion on it and putting your name with the opinion !
Robin Anderson May 18, 2011 at 10:59 AM
Or...certain other folk could move into a condo ruled by an association enlightened enough to have banned such other aggravating folk!
Robin Anderson May 18, 2011 at 01:14 PM
http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/feature/backyard/WildHab.html...Wildlife Habitat(Make a home for birds, butterflies, and nature's other creatures.)... ...all while being respectful of your neighbors and without the intrusion of "big brother".
A Taylor June 10, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Are you people nuts? With such pressing problems, that we have today, I cannot believe we have resorted to "dirty birdfeeders and compost piles." Co-habitation ever heard of it? As for the people that walk around their house patrolling everything and noting what their neighbors do...get a job or a hobby! Maybe we should take up the fight of high property taxes and less services? Or school districts using our children as pawns, when they want to force a levy for pensions and healthcare benefits. Or building new municipal centers when we are in a recession, or have a few extra dollars in the bank. We all would like to work in and have all the latest, in electronics and modern conveniences and decorated by the latest designers. But in the real world, where you have to pay your own way, you can't just say I want, and should have because I work for the government. Sorry! Should be for the people! The offices in the government buildings are nicer than the homes they live in. Violence, gangs, drugs, how about we take on those issues. Or are they too hard? Everything was put on this earth for a purpose. Man has domain over the earth, and we are to take care of each other and all God's creatures. The Voice of Reason

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