Apache Junction tweaks city code regarding animals, fees

Apache Junction council meetings are held in the council chambers, 300 E. Superstition Blvd. (Arianna Grainey, Independent Newsmedia)

Changes are coming to the Apache Junction City Code regarding animals and fees after City Council gave its unanimous approval of the adjustments at its Tuesday, Dec. 4 meeting at City Hall, 300 E. Superstition Blvd.

Changes to the City Code came as two separate items, which the City Council voted on each. One regarded the changes to chapter four, titled “fees” and another for changes in chapter six, titled “animals.”

Apache Junction Police Department Capt. Arnold Freeman started his presentation by saying there are no fee increases. Rather, Mr. Freeman outlined eight changes that will take effect.

Those changes are slated to begin Jan. 5.

The item was designated as a public hearing, but no resident spoke on the issue during the Dec. 4 meeting.

He also said there would be minor grammatical changes to chapter six of the city code.

The changes will allow the city manager to convene a panel of city residents for a civil hearing in response to a citation regarding animal noise nuisance, according to Mr. Freeman’s presentation.

The class 3 kennel permit, which allows 9-12 dogs to be kept in accordance with established provisions, will no longer exist. The city will also eliminate the licensing and fees of potbellied pigs.

The city will also allow alternative owner notification of animals impounded during arrest of an owner and provides abandonment determination. Another change allows the city to recover the cost of care when an animal is found in a motor vehicle when an owner is not present.

The changes also clarify the jurisdiction and quarantine of potbellied pig bites as well as adds clarification and terminology to criminal filings and penalties section in chapter six, titled “animals,” of the city code.

These and other updates to terminology and definitions were considered a “necessity” to keep the Paws and Claws administration and animal regulations consistent with other statewide agencies, according to a memo to council.

The updates were also necessary because city staff believed it would “enhance the welfare of animals” and fix any outdated language on enforcement, according to a memo.

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