"If you’re writing a medium or long section of text, break it up with more than one paragraph for better readability.”
- SOMEONE ONCE SAID
Read Chapter 2 Counties, Cities and Towns
State legislation provides counties and cities the authority, within parameters, to enact ordinances in general and for specific matters. Limitations and additional statutes regarding ordinance authorities are also subject to addition or amendments. It is vital you know how an ordinance is structured and how to read your ordinances.
Common Ordinance Construction
Every ordinance will differ in construction, content and length. Most NC animal ordinances are comprised of the following bulleted items and many contain additional sections and regulations (not bulleted). Ordinances are only applicable to the jurisdiction it specifies. A county ordinance would not be applicable to a city unless formally adopted by the city; likewise a city ordinance would not apply to the county without formally being adopted. Counties and cities may also adopt separate ordinances for various specific matters that may address Dangerous Dogs, Wild and Exotic Animals, and other animal related issues. Ordinances may require a level of conduct more stringent than statutory law never less stringent.
Review your ordinances now; identify and read the bulleted items.
Authorities and/or Administration
Specific authority and administration may be found in one section or in various articles or sections. Animal Committees-Boards
May be a stand alone section or found in definitions.
State law supplementation or authority
May state that ordinance and/or it’s sections or regulations supplement state law or are authorized by law as a section or within sections. Purpose – Intent Why the ordinance exists and/or what it intends to accomplish or control.
Term definitions. May be provided comprehensively or each section may contain specific definitions for that section. Interference Statement prohibiting interference with enforcement actions/officers.
May be provided comprehensively in one section or each section may contain specific penalties. Appeals Process for appealing enforcement actions. Records Any records required by the ordinance.
If/when portions of ordinance are in conflict with state law, that portion is unenforceable and severed, the remainder is intact. Example: §160A-203.1. Limitations on standards of care for farm animals, page 8. If an ordinance regulates stalls for horses comply with a specific standard, that regulation would not comply with law and would be severed. Sections-Regulations Descriptions of violations and/or actions to be taken.
Common Regulations Each ordinance differs.
Regulations-Sections describe actions to be taken or prohibited actions. Number and/or species limitations Pet ownership limitations. Examples: Numbers of dogs-cats Livestock Wild or exotic animals. Bird Sanctuary Many municipalities are Bird Sanctuaries. §160A-188. Bird sanctuaries. Page 7 Bees