NC Council talks coops, B&B conflict of interest |

NC Council talks coops, B&B conflict of interest

Coops may be on their way to Nevada City backyards – council members want an ordinance drafted to allow chickens.

The draft ordinance would allow two to six chickens in a yard depending on the lot size. It would also require predator-proof coops set a certain amount of distance from neighboring properties. Backyard slaughtering would be prohibited.

Chicken owners would need to register with the city, but the amount of the fee would be determined depending on the amount of staff time processing takes.

Once city staff drafts an ordinance, council members will vote on the issue.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, council members discussed a potential conflict of interest in an upcoming vote about reopening defunct bed-and-breakfast inns.

Two council members – Sally Harris and Robert Bergman – live within 500 feet of a defunct bed-and-breakfast inn; there are three defunct B&Bs in Nevada City. Re-opening one could affect their property values.

While those two could recuse themselves from the upcoming vote, it would be “uncomfortable” to make vote on such a controversial issue with only three people, Councilman David McKay said.

The council agreed to seek an opinion from the independent California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) on whether Harris’ and Bergman’s participation poses a conflict of interest.

The FPPC can provide an opinion within 21 business days, which runs past the Nov. 3 public hearing set for the B&B issue; that hearing is now postponed indefinitely pending an opinion from the FPPC, according to City Planner Cindy Siegfried.

To contact Staff Writer Michelle Rindels, e-mail or call (530) 477-4247.

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