The city of Delaware may become the first Ohio community to ban circuses from bringing exotic animals within city limits after Monday.
Council has two legislative items related to the issue. One ordinance pertains to the permit process for circuses that includes the ban and allows Council to deny permission to circuses if it has a certain number of violations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the local animal control within the past three years.
The other is an update to codified ordinance section 505.23, the city’s general wild and exotic animal ban.
The proposed version would no longer exempt circuses and clarifies what animals are exempted from the ban, including: horses, cattle, poultry, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, mice, rats, hamsters, finches, canaries, doves, amphibians, non-venomous, non-crocodilian reptiles under six inches and non-poisonous, non-man-eating fish.
Residents could not own or harbor threaten or endangered listed animals unless licensed by the USDA, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A public hearing for that ordinance is scheduled at 7:30 p.m.
In addition, both proposed laws would exempt animal care professionals employed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Zoological Association of America and accredited zoos.
Florida-based Circus Pages tentatively planned to perform in Delaware late March. Its performance last year was canceled because it did not file a permit in time, which came up after some residents protested it coming to town because of animal abuse allegations.
Residents and out-of-town advocates spoke out mostly in favor of the update to the permit and the inclusion of an exotic animal ban at a public hearing in January.
Aside from the circus, a public comment is scheduled at 7:45 p.m. for the downtown parking study submitted by Columbus-based MKSK Consultants.
In other business, Council will:
• Establish a public hearing for a resolution to authorize a no parking zone on Lexington Boulevard between Buehler Drive between Thistle Drive at 7:15 p.m. March 13.
• Establish a public hearing for an ordinance to raise water and refuse rates at 7:30 p.m. March 13. The proposed changes would raise an average resident’s utility bill by 2.86 percent.
• Have a third reading of an ordinance to change the name of an access road, between Crystal Petal Drive and Cheshire Road, from Columbus Pike to Kingman Hill Drive. A resident voiced his opposition to the proposal at a prior meeting. City staff said the name change was necessary to help first responders locate the street.
• Have second readings for Ohio Wesleyan University’s student housing development plans.
Council will meet at City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St., 7 p.m. in council chambers.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.