Lawsuit prompts Bakersfield City Council to halt implementation of backyard hen ordinance | News – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2020-11-19 19:34:00 –

The Bakersfield City Council has issued a temporary restraint order to recent city chicken ordinances to prevent homeowners from raising chickens in their backyards.

A 6-0 vote by the council in response to a proceeding filed by citizens to protect the R-1 Zone, a group of locals who decided to prevent the city’s new ordinance from becoming law. Congressman Willie Rivera was absent). land.

The proceedings allege that the city violated California Environmental Quality Act when most Bakersfield homeowners passed a number of ordinances in September this year that allowed hens to be raised in the backyard.

“They didn’t actually do an environmental review,” said Jamie Hall, a lawyer at Channel Law Group on behalf of the civic group. “They said it was exempt.”

However, the proceedings allege that noise, odor and illness are one of the potential environmental impacts of allowing residents to raise chickens in the city limits. The proceedings may suspend the city from enforcing the new law until such effects are investigated, that is, if Congress decides to proceed with the ordinance.

“Councilors are elected and they can make decisions,” Hall continued, pointing out that sometimes those decisions were wrong. Still, “These false decisions must be CEQA compliant.”

The council has decided to suspend the enforcement of the law itself in exchange for a channel law group that has agreed not to seek attorneys’ fees for the binding order required in the proceedings.

The city voted in an effort to save taxpayers’ money at legal costs that they might have been forced to pay if the judge’s decision opposed them.

Still, the city appears to be ready for a court battle.

“During my tenure here at the city law firm, it’s fairly common for petitioners to win the first round at CEQA, and it’s pretty clear that taxpayers will cost a fair amount of money,” said the city attorney. Ginny Gennaro said in a telephone interview. With Californians.

The city relied on a “common sense” exemption that would allow the government to bypass the CEQA analysis if the project was clearly shown to have no significant environmental impact. The proceedings depend on the judge’s decision as to whether the exemption applies.

Gennaro argued that the city’s approach to submitting the ordinance to Congress was correct.

“We spoke to the community, and I think we took the necessary steps to get the council where it wants to go,” Gennaro said. “Sometimes you need to take a step back, and that’s what I say I need to happen here.”

The ordinance was scheduled to come into effect on Friday, but the proceedings could delay its enforcement by months or even years. The case will be heard in the Kern County Superior Court, presided over by Judge Kenneth Twissellmann.

You can reach Sammorgen at 661-395-7415. You can also follow him on Twitter @ smorgenTBC.

Lawsuit prompts Bakersfield City Council to halt implementation of backyard hen ordinance | News Source link Lawsuit prompts Bakersfield City Council to halt implementation of backyard hen ordinance | News

Back to top button