Press Journal (Vero Beach, Florida)
BYLINE: Ed Bierschenk
A Vero Beach woman will have to relocate her pet ducks after the City Council on Tuesday voted to uphold a code enforcement decision requiring the ducks be moved out of the city.
Billi Wagner, of the 2200 block of 20th Avenue, said Wednesday she has a new home for the ducks and also plans to work to try to get the city’s restrictions against the ducks removed.
Wagner has had the ducks for about two years.
Wagner told the council she has also had chickens in the past, but I like ducks better because they herd easier and they wag their tails and, I think, they are a little smarter than chickens.
Wagner said she keeps her three pets ducks in a 20-foot-by-20-foot enclosure that has a swimming pool and that she didn’t have any complaints from her immediate neighbors about them. She indicated the complaint against the animals may have come from another person who was retaliating for a complaint made against their pets.
Planning and Development Director Tim McGarry said the code enforcement agency doesn’t take action in such cases until there is a complaint.
Mayor Pilar Turner said she has pets herself and understand how much one can get attached to them. She said that while she knows Wagner loves her ducks, she did not think keeping them in the city limits is appropriate.
The council received several letters in support of Wagner and how well she cares for the ducks. Ann Kennedy, a county resident who lives two blocks from the Vero Beach city limits, noted that county code governing noncommercial kennels allows for a limited number of ducks and chickens. She wrote that some of her neighbors across the street have ducks, which have never caused her any problems.
Wagner indicated restrictions against people keeping ducks and other such animals, having front yard gardens and having clotheslines may be rooted in a type of class discrimination. She said some people may see others growing their own food or drying clothes outside as signs of poverty.
She said the way the economy is going, however, there may be a lot of people having chickens.
Copyright 2012 Stuart News Company
All Rights Reserved