Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Metro Nashville Council bans selling animals on roadside

Bill sponsor cites welfare concerns By Michael Cass • THE TENNESSEAN • February 3, 2010 Selling dogs, cats and other domestic animals on the side of the road is now illegal in Nashville. The Metro Council voted unanimously Tuesday to ban outdoor sales of animals, or even giving them away, with some exceptions. Councilwoman Karen Bennett of Inglewood, who sponsored the bill, said the practice is especially common in areas like Rivergate, Gallatin Road and Nolensville Road. The ban should give some animals a better shot at healthy lives and reduce the number of situations in which people adopt animals that haven't been treated properly, Bennett said. "Sometimes they don't know what they're getting into," she said. "If you adopt from a reputable rescue or from Metro Animal Control, most of them have a return policy." Along with dogs and cats, the law is designed to protect chickens, rabbits, hamsters and numerous other animals, Bennett said. It provides exceptions to the outdoor ban for Animal Control, licensed dealers at their places of business, nonprofit organizations whose main purpose is the care and adoption of animals, and people who want to sell or give away their animals from their homes or businesses. The 'Downtown Code' The council also unanimously approved a new zoning district called the "Downtown Code," which applies to 823 acres. The code is designed to provide more flexibility for the development of downtown Nashville in 15 distinct neighborhoods, allowing buildings to change uses over time. If they work, the new guidelines will create more open space, promote infill development and reduce reliance on automobiles, according to an analysis by the council's legal staff. The code also provides incentives for developers, allowing them to build higher in exchange for promoting open space, environmental sustainability and work-force housing. Councilman Mike Jameson, a co-sponsor, thanked the Metro Planning Department staff for work that was "enormously complicated and, I think, enormously significant."

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