Oct. 12, 2017 - City Council agreed to allow residents to purchase a one-time, "lifetime" license for their pets, but they amended the staff proposal to create a discount for pets who have been spayed or neutered.
The reason, noted Vice Mayor Linda Curtis, is that the current annual rates support encouraging spaying and neutering to further the public policy of reducing the number of unwanted and feral animals. As approved, the lifetime license would cost $10 for pets who have been spayed or neutered, and $20 for others. The current option of an annual license remains for those who prefer — at $10 per year, or $4 for neutered and spayed pets.
The state requires localities to license dogs, and only recently added the option of creating a lifetime rather than annual license. Costs estimated by the treasurer's office show that revenue from license fees currently covers the cost of tags and mailing materials but not the administrative time. The lifetime license is expected to be a convenience and savings both for residents and and staff.
Council also took a step forward in tightening rules on junk cars, directing staff to draft changes to legislation and bring them back to Council for a vote.
Neighboring localities have regulations more strict than Hampton’s, noted Brandi Law, deputy city attorney.
Codes manager Phil Russell explained that the current process of removing an inoperable vehicle from private property takes a minimum of 100 days, which is frustrating for neighbors. He also recommended changing the definition of an inoperable vehicle. Currently, on public property, a vehicle must have both a valid license plate and inspection sticker, but on private property only one is required. The recommendation is that both be required on private property as well.
Cars that are screened from view and inoperable are also a problem, noted Russell, saying that his office is receiving increased complaints about junk cars being home to rodents. The problem, he said, is from junk cars sitting for long periods of time, not those actively being repaired or restored. He recommended a plan that would allow up to 2 cars being worked on. Cars inside a garage would not be affected.
In other matters, Council:
- Rezoned 18 properties from manufacturing and commercial to the Downtown Business District zone. Most of those properties are owned by the city or Hampton Redevelopment and Housing Authority, along North King Street between Pembroke Avenue and Interstate 64. The rezonings are in line with the Master Plan for downtown and the Brights Creek and Armory areas.
- Allowed a commercial day care at 3406 Commander Shepard Boulevard, near the intersection with Wythe Creek Road. I Can Child Care & Learning Center wants to expand onto this property.