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The original item was published from 8/5/2015 11:47:41 AM to 9/24/2015 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: August 5, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Council, staff, to work toward allowing backyard hens

For locals in favor of allowing backyard hens, the August 4 Holly Springs Town Council meeting may have been "poultry in motion" as the council directed staff to work on drafting an ordinance amendment to allow residents to keep hens under certain conditions.

Staff is to work with the council and return this fall with recommendations on those conditions, which include lot size, coop size, setbacks from the coop to the property line, and the number of hens allowed. The council was not in favor of allowing roosters but was in favor of requiring a permit for hens. The council also may be in favor of an annual renewal without a fee to keep backyard hens.

"You're either really for it (backyard hens) or really against it," said Mayor Dick Sears, who added that he’d heard from an equal amount of people on both sides of the issue.

Holly Springs Intern Alberto Quiroga, who researched what other cities in Wake County allow, said every one, except Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs, allows backyard hens, though requirements and enforcement regarding hens varied. In all cities, he said, homeowner associations' stricter rules override the cities' policies on backyard hens.

Also at the meeting, the council awarded a bid for construction of Middle Creek pump station upgrades and a new and larger line from the pump station to the Sunset Ridge pump station.

The project will increase and upgrade the pumping capacity of the Middle Creek pump station to handle continued area development. The project is funded by sewer reserves, which are accumulated through fees developers pay the Town.

The council also issued a proclamation recognizing National Farmers Market Week. The Holly Springs Farmers Market is in its ninth season with 22 weekly vendors and eight part-time vendors. This year, the market received nearly $21,000 in sponsorships and in-kind donations and has been averaging more than 800 customers each week.

Planning Intern John Meece gave a presentation on the street tree inventory he performed over the course of his internship this summer. Meece inventoried 6,518 street trees. He noted trees' type, health and age. He also noted the condition of the trees – if they were causing sidewalk buckling or roadside safety issues. Staff plans to build on and use the study for recommendations for street trees moving forward.

The council approved continuing an existing Governor's Highway Safety Program grant for the Police Department's traffic safety unit. Funding from the North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program joins local funding for additional traffic safety officers.

The council approved contract change orders for road improvements at the Main St. and Sunset Lake Rd. intersection, and for repaving Linksland Dr. and Lafoy Dr. as part of the 2015 street improvement projects.

The council approved residents' requests to remove a barricade on Trotter Bluffs Dr., giving Trotter Bluffs subdivision residents access to Morgan Park and the signalized intersection at Avent Ferry Road.

The council also accepted a purchase agreement for the Town's surplus property located at 127 North Main St.

Councilmembers discussed the success of the North Main Athletic Complex and recognized the Salamanders for a season that is ending with the team going into the league playoffs. With soccer, lacrosse and tennis being played at the complex, in addition to Salamanders baseball games, councilmembers noted the complex is being used and enjoyed by residents.

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