City hesitates over urban archery changes
An Albemarle ordinance that could lower urban archery restrictions is now on hold.
Earlier this month, city councilors drafted an ordinance that would permit bow-hunters to take deer on smaller properties. Rather than the current five acre minimum, the new ordinance would allow hunting on properties two acres or more — which matches the nearby cities of Concord and Mt. Pleasant.
However, councilors hesitated to approve that change at their last meeting.
“I would like to send it back out and get more input (from the public),” councilor Benton Dry said, noting that he has received complaints about the ordinance since it was drafted.
“I’d still like to give people another opportunity (to speak),” councilor Chris Bramlett agreed.
However, the council has already been collecting public comments on the matter for more than two months, other councilors argued.
When local hunters requested the change back in January, the city started asking for public feedback then. Moreover, prior to drafting the new ordinance, a special public input session was advertised and hosted by the city as well.
However, at that input session only six people spoke, councilors noted, half from outside the city limits.
Of those six, four were in favor of reducing acreage restrictions, but only one from within the city.
“The original request came from outside the city, too,” Ronnie Michael said. “We need to hear from more people in the city.”
With that said, the council voted to give residents another month to submit input.
Previous comments in favor of the two-acre minimum have included statements from N.C. Wildlife personnel detailing a need for deer-population reduction in the city, as well as statements from hunters detailing the difficulties of finding five-acre properties to hunt on within the city.
Comments in favor of the five-acre minimum included statements from residents afraid for children’s safety, and other residents who worry hunters will not pick up their kills.
Anyone who has thoughts on the matter is asked to contact a city councilor or staff member directly before the council’s next meeting.
Contact info for the city council is as follows:
- Ronnie Michael: firstname.lastname@example.org; 704-984-9407
- Bill Aldridge: email@example.com
- Chris Bramlett: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Martha Sue Hall: email@example.com
- Martha Hughes: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Benton Dry: email@example.com
- Dexter Townsend: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chris Whitley: email@example.com