Looking For Terrific Local Real Estate Deals? We have teamed with our great area Realtors to provide you the most comprehensive, up-to-date and current real estate listings locally and throughout West Michigan with our innovative interactive links in our Local Observer E-edition, West Michigan Observer E-Magazine and Coldwell Banker Home Magazine. Simply visit: www.localobserver.com and click on the Local Observer flipping-page icon or the Coldwell Banker Home Magazine flipping-page icon or the West Michigan Observer flipping-page icon. Then click on any real estate ad or individual home/business/property link in those publications to get all the info you need to find that perfect place! It’s fun, fast and easy! Try it today. You’ll be glad you did! * MILL POND REALTY * BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES * COLDWELL BANKER WOODLAND SCHMIDT * GREENRIDGE REAL ESTATE * CENTURY 21 * SHORELINE REALTORS Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Saugatuck MI Permit No. 30 CURRENT RESIDENT THE LOCAL OBSERVER WE BRING YOU THE NEWS SERVING June 9, 2017 FREE SAUGATUCK * DOUGLAS * SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP * LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP * FENNVILLE * GLENN * GANGES TOWNSHIP * HAMILTON * HOLLAND * SOUTH HAVEN Vol. 15 No. 23 Chickens & Stray Cats Topic Of Discussion For Douglas City Council Members This Week Efrain Sandoval Correspondent Douglas city officials talked animals at Monday night’s meeting: stray cats and backyard chickens. The former entails a quandary stemming from opposing views—some residents bitterly com-plain about stray cats, but the local stray cat society and others say the solution is not regulation or getting rid of them because that will only assure the problem continues. “I’ve done research (on how other communities handle stray cats), nobody really seems to have clear answers,” Douglas Community Development Directory and City Planner Lisa Imus told the city coun-cil. “The smell is horrific and the noises at night are loud. They should be eradicated,” said Douglas Council Member Patricia Lion. In contrast, Douglas Council Member Neal Seabert says he is not bothered by stray cats even though he lives in the area where those who are complaining to the city say the source of the problem is: Douglas Estates Mobile Home Community, specifically from three properties, according to Imus. However, “It’s all over Douglas…it’s on the Lakeshore neighborhoods,” contended Lion, who lives by Lakeshore Drive. “I do believe people are dumping them (stray cats) here (from other towns),” said Douglas Council Member Lisa Greenwood, echoing others’ commentary. “If you start enforcement, it will continue to be a big problem,” said Douglas Council Member Linda Anderson, concurring with the Douglas Stray Cat Society’s argu-ments as articulated by Imus. The society claims because they neuter, distemper, feed and take care of the cats in one specific area that will eventually lead to a reduc-tion in the long run, said Imus. The council directed Imus to study the matter further. With regards to chickens, close to 20 local residents have signed a petition calling on the city to amend its ordinance to allow a limited num-ber of hens or similar fowl in residen-tial zones. With such an amendment, “the City of Douglas will encourage stewardship of the environment and food production on a household scale,” a portion of the petition claims. “We took (from the ordi-nances of other communities pertain-ing to backyard chickens) what we thought was specific to our commu-nity,” local resident and proponent Ronna Alexander told the council Monday. She and daughters Lucy and Olive Alexander were all present in support of a change. About the existing ordi-nance, Imus noted, “In order to have chickens in the City of Douglas, you have to have a parcel larger than four acres.” She continued, “I know of only one parcel (in the city limits) that has many parcels.” Also, the current law dic-tates the chickens and other “agricul-tural animals” must be housed 150 feet from the property line, according to Imus. The group is calling for a maximum of four chickens or similar fowl on half an acre or less, five on a half to one acre, and six if the parcel is one acre in size. The council decided to refer the matter to the Douglas Planning Commission for review.