COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Maximum Fines for Dogs Running at Large Violations

 

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Public hearing to consider proposed ordinance to amend County Code Chapter 4, Animals and Fowl, Article II, to classify permitting a dog to run at large as a Class 4 misdemeanor and to increase the maximum fine to $250.00.

 

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Foley, Davis, Miller

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

 

AGENDA DATE:

December 7, 2005

 

 

ACTION:     X          INFORMATION:   

 

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:              INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:     Yes

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

BACKGROUND: 

County Code section 4-213(B) provides that the punishment for unlawfully permitting a dog to run at large within the designated areas of the County set forth in section 4-213(A) is a maximum fine of $25.00.  County Code section 4-315 provides that the punishment for permitting a dog to run at large without a license tag, with limited exceptions, is a maximum fine of $100.00.  

 

Virginia Code Section 3.1-796.93 provides that the act of permitting a dog to unlawfully run at large is a Class 4 misdemeanor.  Virginia Code Section 18.2-11 provides that the maximum fine for a Class 4 misdemeanor is $250.00.  Through local ordinance, a County can prescribe a fine up to the maximum amount.  County citizens have indicated that the maximum fines in the County Code are not an adequate deterrent to owners who permit their dogs to run at large.  The Board of Supervisors requested that staff prepare an ordinance increasing the potential fine up to the State maximum.

  

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal 3.1 Make the County a safe and healthy community in which citizens feel secure to live, work and play.

 

DISCUSSION:

Currently, the maximum penalty is $25.00 for violations of County Code section 4-213 and $100.00 for violations of County Code sections 4-312 and 4-314.  State law permits the maximum fine to be $250.00.  This ordinance would raise the potential punishment for violations of these sections to a maximum penalty of $250.00.  The Court, upon conviction, will determine the appropriate fine.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

Misdemeanor fines collected under the County Code are funds that are transferred to the County.  The adoption of this ordinance may generate some minimal additional revenue.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

After the public hearing, staff recommends that the Board adopt the attached ordinance.

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:

A Proposed ordinance

B Letter from Peacock Hill Community Association dated September 13, 2005

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