Pit bull ban faces uncertain future in Aurora

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AURORA | A measure to repeal the city’s 9-year-old ban will be put on hold while Aurora City Council revisits a related ordinance at a public safety committee meeting in May.

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Council voted 6 to 5 Monday to postpone a measure that would, if approved, have repealed the ban, and would have instead required owners of the three prohibited breeds— American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers — to microchip the dogs and carry $100,000 for liability coverage in homeowners or renters insurance, among other stipulations. The related vicious dog ordinance would reinforce the penalties in place for dog attacks.

“It was my understanding, the vicious dog ordinance was to come along with this particular ordinance and it’s not there,” said Councilwoman Barb Cleland. “There’s a lot of misconceptions as to what our vicious dog ordinance says. We are going to be re-looking at it. I was under the assumption, to be able to support this, the two ordinances would come together.”

“I am going to support this to move with the dangerous animal ordinace,” said Councilwoman Renie Peterson. “Otherwise this is not going to pass. We need the votes. I’ll be saying yes to tabling it for now.”

Councilman Bob Broom said the two issues should be addressed separately. “The two issues are separate in my mind,” he said.

Later in the evening council gave final approval to a measure that allows residents to own up to four backyard chickens.

The measure requires residents to apply for a permit and pay a one-time fee for the hens, and homeowners associations would be allowed to prohibit the backyard birds

Under the measure, owners must provide the chickens with a covered, predator-resistant chicken house, which the hens must be secured in from dusk to dawn.  An enclosed area six square feet or larger must be adjacent to the chicken house to allow the hens outdoors during the daytime.

Chicken coops need to be located at least 15 feet from neighboring properties. Roosters will still be illegal for Aurora residents to own. Residents will receive a $150 fine for keeping roosters beyond 30 days after receiving a violation notice.