January 22, 2013 - 4:46 PM
Two more dog variance applications allowing Kamloops residents to keep more than two dogs were approved by city council today, and according to administration - it's statistically not all that surprising.
Administration told Kamloops council today in a regular meeting that including today's approved dog variance applications, 20 out of 21 have been approved since the decision to proactively enforce the bylaw in 2012.
"Based on that, I think that this needs to be investigated a little more fully," said Coun. Donovan Cavers after requesting the information from administration.
"I'm wondering if a two-dog limit is a little out of line? I wonder if we would release ourselves from these shackles if we would increase that limit to three dogs?"
Administration said two of the applications were turned down initially but later approved.
"Perhaps it's a little too stringent," Cavers said.
Mayor Peter Milobar said council as a whole would need to make the changes.
"All I can say is based on experience, that's the 2012 snapshot," he said, adding that enforcement changes have caused the influx of dog variance applications.
"Before they were strictly coming to us on a complaint basis," Milobar said.
"I wouldn't take 2012 as an indicative year. It's a bit of a different situation."
Angela Rigby addressed council today requesting approval to keep a third dog at her Chestnut Avenue home in light of extraordinary circumstances.
"It was not my intention to break the bylaw," Rigby said.
She said her daughter had moved back home temporarily after living in the Lower Mainland. Council voted to approve the variance as well as a subsequent variance.
Peter and Jennifer Rudge, who live on Foxwood Lane in Barnhartvale with their three children, told council they moved to Kamloops from Victoria in the summer and didn't know a variance would be required to have a third dog.
"We came from a town or municipality that had a five dog limit," Peter told council.
Coun. Pat Wallace, who has voted against approving variances in the past, supported the application.
"I find that there's no point in voting against extra dogs, so I'm going to support you," she said.
Cavers showed concern over the variance application process where residents seemingly plead with council to keep their dogs.
"It just seems so frustrating," he said. "They're such emotionally charged situations. Sometimes it seems inappropriate for them to be heard in a public realm."
Coun. Tina Lange said the influx of applications will come to a close.
"Hopefully we've seen the bulk of them by allowing people to come forward last year without a fee," she said.
— Jessica Wallace
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013