Originally Published: May 2, 2016 6:01 a.m.
PRESCOTT – A new business license and a new wildlife-feeding ban both could become law soon, depending on the vote of the Prescott City Council this week.
The council has three meetings scheduled for Tuesday, May 3: A study session at 1 p.m.; a closed-door executive session, to begin after the study session; and a 5:30 voting session. All three meetings will take place at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St.
The 5:30 voting meeting is expected to include votes on a number of issues that have been under discussion for months.
Among the likely decisions will be whether to implement a city business-license program. This week’s discussion is expected to be the last of a series of meetings the council has conducted on the issue.
The agenda includes four related ordinances, pertaining to: the business license; changes to the peddler solicitor code; changes to the fire safety code; and a change to the transaction privilege license fee.
City Manager Craig McConnell said Friday that the business license ordinance would include a change to allow a landlord to have three or fewer rental units on the same business license. Those with four or more rental properties would have to have separate licenses for each, he said. Because the units of apartment complexes have a common address, they would be covered under one business license, Deputy City Manager Alison Zelms said.
The council began the discussion about business licenses on Feb. 2 – in part as a response to the proliferation of group rehab homes in the city. Several council members have maintained that a business license would allow the city get a better handle on the number of group homes in Prescott.
If approved, implementation of the program would be from May to November 2016, and business registration would begin in December 2016.
In other action at the 5:30 voting session, the council will:
• Consider an ordinance that would ban the feeding of wildlife in the city. The ordinance would make it illegal “to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly feed wildlife or to attract wildlife.”
Discussion of the ban began last fall, when a resident told the council a herd of javelina had attacked and injured his dog while his wife was out walking the dog.
That led to a proposal for a ban, which initially mirrored the ordinance that Flagstaff had previously implemented.
Since then, the council has suggested changes that would clarify the use of bird feeders and water features. The ordinance that will go to the council will include several adjustments, such as one that would replace the words “likely to entice wildlife to the source of the edible materials” with: “Where a reasonable person would be aware of the potential presence of wildlife.”
It would define wildlife to be “bears, deer, coyotes, or/and mountain lions,” rather than the previous definition, “all wild mammals and/or wild birds.”
It also would clarify the use of feeders to attract birds, squirrels, or other wild animals that do not pose a threat to the public.
If approved, the ordinance would become effective in 30 days.
• Consider an intergovernmental agreement with Yavapai College for a structured sober living house manager program, which would offer training and certification for managers of group homes.
The city would provide $20,000 in seed money to the college, and would be reimbursed by the college with 25 percent of the tuition paid for each student.
• Consider adoption of a new alternative-water policy for the remainder of 2016.
• Hear a presentation from Scott Whitney regarding the creation of the South Montezuma Entertainment District.
• At the 1 p.m. study session, the council will hear an update from Recreation Services Director Joe Baynes on the city’s open space program.
After the study session, the council will conduct a closed-door executive session to discuss “potential acquisition of open space properties.” McConnell declined to comment on the properties under consideration.
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