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City of Greenwood

Posted on: January 27, 2017

Mayor Aims to Update Ordinances

Soon, if Greenwood Mayor Carolyn McAdams gets her way, the city’s antiquated ordinances regulating hitching posts will be gone and residential homeowners will be able to keep up to three chickens on their property.

McAdams spoke Thursday to the Greenwood Kiwanis Club about the long-?awaited process of bringing the city’s Code of Ordinances into the 21st century.

The goal is to remove ordinances that “serve no purpose anymore,” she said.

“There’s no reason for us to have a hitching post ordinance,” the mayor said.

McAdams caused a stir when she said that the domestic keeping of chickens would be part of the new ordinance package.

“We’re going to allow domestic chickens to be in your backyard, based on acreage,” she said. “If you have a residential home and you own that home, you can have two or three chickens — no roosters. That’s because some people like a fresh egg.”

McAdams did not discuss the proposed cage, pen or acreage requirements for having chickens in the city.

The job of removing ordinances that are no longer relevant or conflict with state law is nearing completion, McAdams said: “We’re trying to take them out, trying to clean them up, trying to get rid of all this stuff we don’t need.”

The paring back includes early?-20th?-century laws relating to livestock running at large in city or the prohibition of slot machines.

“State law trumps that,” the mayor said.

Another ordinance that is no longer relevant deals with burglar alarm monitoring by the police. Today, she said, such monitoring is done exclusively by private security companies.
 Ordinances regarding pool and billiard tables also are to be revised. “If Webster’s decided they wanted to have a pool table in there, they could do so,” McAdams said.

Recreational centers that don’t sell alcohol also could also have pool tables, she said.

The city’s obscenity laws, which conflict with state law, will also be removed as will the city’s Disability and Retirement Fund, which has been replaced by the state’s Public Employees Retirement System.

Ordinances regarding railroads — which are now regulated by state and federal governments — will be removed as will ordinances relating to pedestrians and bicycles, the mayor said.

As with residential chickens, provisions for beekeeping will also be included in the revised ordinances, the mayor said. This is intended to help develop a commercial honey industry, she said.

McAdams said parking meters removed as part of downtown renovations will not be returning. When she looked at the revenue from parking meters, it amounted to only $250 annually.

The meters conflict with the goal of encouraging shoppers, McAdams said.

“We would like people to come downtown and stay for five hours instead of having their car marked for $2.50,” she said.

McAdams said city inspection fees for electrical, plumbing and gas will be increased and will be based upon square footage.

Regarding junk yards, the city will renew its efforts to “make them as attractive as a junk yard can be” by requiring 6?-foot?-tall fencing around the yard’s perimeter, McAdams said. No junk may extend beyond the top of the fence.

The city will also be passing certification requirements for commercial tree trimming operators. Certification will require operator’s to attend a one?-day class before being allowed to conduct business in the city, she said.

Another proposed change involves right?-of?-way boring for fiber optics or telephone lines. Under the new ordinance, companies would have to get a permit and pay a fee before starting work, McAdams said.

“Before, they really didn’t even have to get our permission, and they would sometimes leave the sidewalk not as it was,” she said.

In recognition of some residents desiring to drive “low-?speed” vehicles, such as modified golf carts, the mayor said such vehicles — when equipped with seat belts, horn and lights — would be able to get city car tags. The use of the vehicles, which have a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour, would be limited to certain sections of the city, such as the west side of Claiborne Avenue.

The city currently has only one taxi company. With the advent of car services such as Uber, the proposed ordinance will provide for such businesses.

The mayor said, due to the size of the proposed revisions, she will meet with the City Council in a work session to go over them before a formal resolution is offered.

McAdams noted that Greenwood was recently featured in The National, an official magazine of Amtrak. She said a man from Memphis dropped off the article at her office on Wednesday.

“They’re saying, ‘If you’re taking Amtrak to the city of New Orleans from Memphis, break up the trip with a day to the Delta destination.’ How cool is that?” McAdams asked.

The three?page full?color article focused on Howard Street businesses such as the Viking Cooking School, The Alluvian, TurnRow Book Co. and Williams Landing winery.

“If he hadn’t brought it in, we wouldn’t have known. Here they are showcasing us,” she said.
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