Leon Valley
TX

Staff Report
17-10

Consider, discussion and possible action on an ordinance authorizing an amendment to the Leon Valley City Code Chapter 2 "Animals", to Amend Section 2.01.001 "Definitions" to Include "deer" Under "Wild Animals", and to add Section 2.01.017 “Feeding of Deer”, Prohibiting Feeding Deer on Any Public or Private Land.

Information

Department:Public WorksSponsors:City Manager Kelly Kuenstler
Category:Amendment

Attachments

  1. Printout
  2. Ordinance Amending City Code Animals Section (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  3. City Council Item PPT template

Item Discussion

PURPOSE

 

To consider amending Leon Valley City Code, Chapter 2 "Animals", to include the word “deer” in the definition of Wild Animals and to add a section that would prohibit the feeding of deer on any public or private lands.

 

It has been the practice of several residents along the park boundaries to offer supplemental feed (corn and other food items) for the deer that live in and around the Huebner-Onion Natural Area Park and in Raymond Rimkus Park. In addition, several other residents along Huebner Creek and in older neighborhoods have been feeding deer over the years. The deer are becoming less afraid of human interaction, which could lead to injury and other harm to both deer and humans.

 

While a deer census has not been officially taken in Leon Valley, the supplemental feeding could also cause an overpopulation of deer. The cities of both Hollywood Park and Lakeway have created deer ordinances which not only prohibit supplemental deer feeding by citizens, but also include trapping and transporting deer, and trapping and processing deer, in response to their deer overpopulation problem.

 

To avoid future deer problems and any injury or harm to persons and deer, it is suggested that the Animal Ordinance be revised as follows:

 

Chapter 2 Animals, Section 2.01.001 Definitions, “Wild Animal”, be amended to include“deer” as part of the definition.

 

That a new section be added to read as follows:

 

“Sec. 2.01.017     Feeding of Deer

 

(a)     No person shall purposely feed or provide food (as described in subsection (c) below), through a ground-feeding station, salt lick or by other means, to wild deer in the city on any public or private land.

 

(b)     For the purpose of this section, a deer shall be deemed to be wild unless it is legally kept in an enclosed barn, fence or other structure on private property sufficient to prevent the deer from leaving the confines of such enclosed area.

 

(c)     A person shall be deemed to have purposely fed or caused wild deer to be fed if the person places wheat, pelleted livestock food, corn in any form, fruit, vegetables, hay or alfalfa, human food scraps, any form of commercially sold wildlife feed, birdseed or livestock feed, or any other edible matter that deer will consume (not including live vegetation such as ornamental landscaping or flowers) on the ground, or within reach of deer. This prohibition shall not apply to edible matter located either in an enclosed building or stored in a securely sealed package.

 

(d)     The prohibition of this section shall not apply to any peace officer, animal control officer, or other agent of the city.”

 

FISCAL IMPACT

 

None; however, violations of the Municipal Code may include fines not to exceed $500 per violation.

 

STRATEGIC GOALS

 

This item meets City Council Strategic Goal #5 Environmental Sustainability, by maintaining a healthy and stable natural deer population.

 

SEE LEON VALLEY

 

Social Equity - Enforcing rules that assure a peaceful and healthy coexistence with wildlife protects the health and safety of all citizens.

 

Economic Development - Responsible management of environmental resources may promote Leon Valley as a proactive place to work and live.

 

Environmental Stewardship - Prohibiting the supplemental feeding of deer helps to assure the deer population remains healthy and not overcrowded in the limited amount of open space left in Leon Valley.

 

Document Comments

RECOMMENDATION

 

Amend Leon Valley City Code, Chapter 2 "Animals", to include the word “deer” in the definition of Wild Animals and to add a section 2.01.017 Feeding of Deer, to prohibit the feeding of deer on any public or private lands.

 

Meeting History

Jan 17, 2017 7:00 PM  City Council Regular Meeting

Public Works Director Melinda Moritz, with the aid of Roger Christensen, Chairmen of the Leon Valley Park Commission presented this item seeking consideration of an amendment to the City of Leon Valley City Code of Ordinances, Chapter 2 "Animals", to include the word “deer” in the definition of Wild Animals and to add a section that would prohibit the feeding of deer on any public or private lands.

Public Works Director Moritz proceeded to state proposed amendments in an effort to avoid future deer problems and any injury or harm to persons and deer. Chairman Christensen added that a Wildlife Viewing Platform is in the Master Plan. Public Works Director Moritz added that the City could put in a Wildlife Viewing Platform and this ordinance does exclude City employees so the deer could be feed by a designated City employee.

· Irene Baldridge, 6368 Forest Hill, asked if putting water out for the deer would be acceptable. This was followed by discussion.

A motion was made by Council Member Monica Alcocer to approve of the ordinance with the amendment to include, no food or water. The motion failed due to a lack of second.

A motion was made by Council Member David Edwards and seconded by Council Member Monica Alcocer, to table the item; consult with Texas Parks and Wildlife; and then come back to City Council for consideration.

RESULT:TABLED [4 TO 1]
MOVER:David Edwards, Council Place 1
SECONDER:Monica Alcocer, Council Place 3
AYES:David Jordan, David Edwards, Belinda Ealy, Monica Alcocer
NAYS:Benny Martinez

Discussion