New planning and zoning ordinance in Arab allows residential areas to have animals other than dogs or cats

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ARAB, Ala. -- A new ordinance is in effect in Arab, one will allow homeowners in residential areas to have animals other than dogs and cats on their property.

After hiring a consultant to update the city's outdated planning and zoning ordinance, and after a public review period, the city council approved the changes. "The main difference in it from the previous planning and zoning issues were it will now allow animals in residential areas provided they go before the Planning and Zoning Board and they meet the minimum requirements," Mayor Bob Joslin says.

The animals now allowed in residential areas are more than just dogs or cats. "This has opened it up for people who want to have chickens to raise their own eggs, maybe have a cow if they have adequate acreage, even goats. There's certain limitations on what you can have," Joslin says.

There are several requirements. "You have to have a certain number of acres in order to considered to have animals in residential areas," Joslin explains, "One of the biggest requirements is that they have to be set back 200 feet from the property line. So that pretty well limits where you can have animals in residential, because 200 feet is a quite a little distance from your neighbor."

Any homeowner in a residential area who wants to add an animal that fits into this changed ordinance must get it approved by the Planning and Zoning Board.
City leaders say they hope to have the new ordinance and its requirements on its website for residents to read within the next week.