Greene County BOS Hears from Citizens on Dog Issue

By. Kara Reese Pennella, Greene County Field Officer

Action Summary:

  • Greene County Code Amendment to Prohibit Dogs from Running at Large between Henshaw Run and South River Road –Approved

The Greene County Board of Supervisors heard a request from citizens to include the area between Henshaw Run and South River Road under the county statute prohibiting dogs running at large. This is the same statute that was expanded to all Residential areas in the county last month. Citizens in agricultural areas still must petition the Board to be added to the statute.

Numerous residents came to the meeting to express their opinions. Some shared horror stories. Others were concerned that the enforcement of this ordinance would extend beyond the obvious instances of aggressive dogs. Many citizens provided conflicting accounts of how local authorities were handling the problems with dogs and how they would handle them under this ordinance. There was also concern that hunting dogs were being targeted. Each side of the dispute provided petitions to the board; however, the validity of those signatures was contested by each party.

In response to the comments from the public, the county attorney reminded everyone that under the ordinance a dog does not necessarily have to be on a leash. A dog needs to be under the owner’s control. This can include voice control.

The Board discussed the conflicting petitions extensively. However, even with some of the questioned signatures most of the Board felt that a significant number of people represented in this area approved of the proposed change. J. Allen also noted that it was important to give people an option other than taking the law into their own hands when facing aggressive dogs that are not leashed. She noted that common sense should prevail in the case of small dogs or hunting dogs that might be lost. C. Schmitt was concerned over the lack of uniformity in the petitions. He also was concerned that the leash law might be hard to enforce in this particular area and felt further information was needed before making a decision.

M. Skeens moved to approve the revisions to the statute as advertised. The motion passed 4-1 with C. Schmitt opposing the motion.

In other matters from the Board, the Water Supply Plan has been released for public comment from the both citizens and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). This is an important step in securing Greene County’s water supply for the future. Copies of the plan are can be viewed in the county offices or purchased on CD for $5. The full plan is also available on the Greene County Website (pdf).

To read the press release regarding the Water Supply Plan click here.

Jerri%20Allen1

Finally, the Board said an emotional goodbye to longtime member Jeri Allen. J. Allen was presented with a plaque for all her service to the Board. C. Schmitt noted Allen was the “finest public servant I have ever been associated with….” Members of the public also thanked J. Allen for her service by giving her a standing ovation.

Photo Credit: Greene County

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