The Boiling Spring Lakes Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night rejected a text amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance that would have allowed the keeping of chicken hens in zones R-1 through R-5.

Mayor Craig Caster attended the meeting, as did commissioners Guy Auger, Mark Stewart, Steven Barger and Dana Witt. City Manager Jeff Repp also was present.

According to the text amendment, no more than four hens may be kept per tract. A tract “shall consist of at least 10,400 square feet under single ownership or control and include a single-family residence as a principal structure.”

Roosters are prohibited. The ordinance states “outdoor slaughter of animals shall be prohibited, and production shall be limited to that of personal consumption for each residence.”

The ordinance also states “there shall be no on-site commercial activity involving chicken products derived from said chicken.”

Stewart made a motion to adopt the text amendment, but there was no support. Witt made a motion to allow up to six hens in zones R-2 through R-5 with a permit, but there was no support.

During public comments, two residents spoke in favor of the text amendment and three spoke in opposition.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, at City Hall to discuss the fiscal year 2020 budget. In the proposed budget, the tax rate is the same as the previous fiscal year, “23 cents per each $100 valuation of real and personal property.”

A public hearing about the budget took place in May during the board of commissioners meeting. No resident spoke at the hearing.

According to information in the budget report, the tax rate will raise a net of $1,042,594 in tax revenue. The city will have 34 full-time employees, with 15 of them in police and eight in public works.

The largest expense in the $4,460,068 budget is $1,395,198 for public safety. Debt service is $132,376.

Interlocal agreement

An interlocal agreement with Brunswick County, in which the county will provide building code administration and enforcement services, fire code administration and enforcement services, and Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance administration and enforcement services, failed for lack of a majority vote. The agreement was to begin July 1, 2019, and could be canceled with 60 days’ notice. The board voted 4-1 to table the matter until the July meeting.

New police officers

Police Chief Greg Jordan introduced four new police officers: Taylor Pyron, Megan Wells, Gary Rohauer and David Pressley.

In a related matter, the Southport Rotary Club Officer of the Year Award was presented to Boiling Spring Lakes officer Kyle Pszczultkoski. Sheila Roberts and Mary McCade made the presentation.

Separately, the board discussed reducing speed limits on dirt roads, but no action was taken.

“I would strongly agree with a lower speed limit than 35 on dirt roads,” Jordan said.

Repp introduced the new public works director, Michael Mack.

More text amendments

The board did not approve a text amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance reducing the minimum living area per dwelling in the R-1 zoning district from 1,500 square feet to 1,250 square feet, provided the dwelling has a minimum 400 square foot attached garage.

The board approved a text amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance regarding lake regulations. Specifically, “a maximum of one walkout (pier), which is most closely perpendicular as possible to the applicant’s waterfront property line, shall be permitted. The width of the walkout (pier) shall be no less than 4 feet and no greater than 8 feet.

“The maximum size of the waterside structure, not including walkout (pier), shall be 250 square feet. This shall include, but is not limited to, any cross-member structure, docking and covered areas (covered areas include any roof assembly over water).”

The board also approved amending Section 9.2 Plot Plan Procedures. The amendment removed the requirement that a licensed surveyor be responsible for plotting the trees.

Dam design

The board approved 4-1 the selection of McGill Associates to perform the design and construction management services for repairs to the four dams damaged by Hurricane Florence.

Committee appointments

The board appointed Ann Hollingsworth and Carmen Berk to the Community Appearance Commission for a four-year term, beginning June 30, 2019. The board appointed Tamie Keel to a three-year term on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, beginning June 5, 2019. The board appointed Lucille Launderville to a three-year term to the Special Events Committee, beginning June 30, 2019.

Closed session

Before the meeting, the board meet in closed session to discuss the price and other material terms of a contract or proposed contract for the acquisition of real property by purchase, option, exchange or lease.

In open session, Caster said the board discussed “relocating the police department and gave the information to our city manager to proceed and bring it back to the board for more advice.”

D-Day remembered

Two days before the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Caster asked any World War II veterans to stand and be recognized, and William Sraver Jr. was in attendance. Before the meeting began, he led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

“Many of our military died on that day,” Caster said as the meeting ended. “God bless all of them.”