BY LISA WARREN
The Mosheim Planning Commission has recommended approval of an ordinance related to the regulation of animals in the town limits.
In addition, the planners on Thursday gave approval to clarification of language that defines pain management clinics and methadone and suboxone treatment facilities within the town's existing regulation ordinance.
An amendment was recommended to the Mosheim Board of Mayor and Aldermen by the planners at last month's meeting .
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen considered the recommendation, but decided to send it back to the planning commission for further revision in order to clear up confusing language regarding the definition of methadone and suboxone treatment facilities.
This redefinition within the local ordinance was necessary in order to bring it in line with the state's definition of such facilities.
In addition, substance abuse treatment facilities have been added back into the regulations because they are considered by the state to be separate facilities from pain management clinics and methadone clinics.
According to state planner Rebecca Ketchie, "The state statutes still treat [such facilities] separately, so if the local regulations mirror the state regulations, they should be listed as different uses."
The Mosheim Planners discussed the formation of an animal regulation ordinance during last month's meeting and requested several changes to the original draft after concerns were raised.
At Thursday's meeting, the planners agreed that, since the town does not have local law enforcement or a local animal control shelter, the enforcement and compliant investigations regarding animals should be placed in the hands of Mosheim town officials.
Among the other regulations contained within the recommended ordinance:
* running at-large of animals will be prohibited;
* animal pens or enclosures must be kept clean and sanitary;
* adequate food, water and shelter must be provided to the animals;
* no animal or fowl kept in such conditions can become "a nuisance because of either noise, odor, contagious disease or other reason," and
* cruel treatment of animals is prohibited.
Also, it was noted that dead animals must be disposed of within 24 hours of their death.
The animal regulation ordinance is expected to be considered on the first of two readings at this month's Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.
In other matters at the planning meeting, a discussion was held to implement a variance-fee charge to reimburse the town for expenses related to the publication of public notices in connection with variances.
Following the planning meeting, the planners reconvened for a work session to discuss pyramid zoning in the town's business district.
Pyramid zoning permits all the uses that are allowed in a "lower" zone to be used in a "higher" zone, Ketchie explained.
"For example, anything allowed in R-1 is allowed in R-2, and anything in R-1 and R-2 is allowed in B-1," the town planner explained.
"The result is that uses are permitted in the business districts that are not business-related.
"Given that Mosheim has limited land available in the districts," Ketchie recommended that "it may benefit the town to limit what non-business uses are allowed in those districts, to preserve that area for commerce and industry."