05/20/10 — Tethering law could get tweak

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Tethering law could get tweak

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 20, 2010 1:46 PM

The 2010-2011 budget was not the only issue discussed by Goldsboro City Council members Monday.

The board also made some decisions regarding changes to existing policies -- namely, the tethering ordinance set to come into effect July 1 and how the city would regulate Internet cafes.

Police Chief Tim Bell said he and his officers have been educating the public on the pending ban on tethering dogs outside since the council decided months ago to outlaw the practice.

"One of the good things (is), when you put something out like this and give it a little bit of time, you start getting some feedback on ways that we can probably do things better," Bell said.

So his latest recommendation would allow for some tethering -- two hours to be exact -- despite the difficulties he acknowledged it would create as far as enforcement.

Currently, tethering of animals, defined in the ordinance as "tying out or fastening outdoors on a rope, chain or similar restraint to any stationary or inanimate object including a cable trolley system for holding an animal within a certain area outside the home or on an attended leash," would be banned within the city limits as of July 1.

"But I think you can pretty well tell a dog that's being tethered all the time. I think that's pretty obvious," he told the board. "I still think there is a need for (the ordinance), but I think this also gives responsible pet owners a way to be a little more flexible."

Planning Director Randy Guthrie also talked about potential changes to existing regulations.

And by the time he was finished talking about ways the city could tighten its grip on "Internet cafes," the council had decided to limit their hours of operation and change parking requirements for them.

The businesses will now be required -- once the changes become official at the next council meeting -- to provide two parking spaces per machine.

And they will no longer be allowed to operate as 24-hour establishments, as the board agreed to make them close by midnight.