THE NUMBER of cats a person can own, where livestock can be located, restrictions around burning off and what can be planted and collected are just a number of key changes proposed within draft changes to a council law.
For several months Hepburn Shire Council has been seeking input from key stakeholders including community, businesses, councillors and staff to identify issues of concern.
The number of issues raised highlighted the need for an updated local law that provides clearer rules for residents, businesses and visitors. As a result, the council formulated the recently-released draft General Local Law No. 2 2019 - Community Amenity and Public Spaces.
Chief Executive Officer Evan King said the council had received a lot of feedback on the local law review, especially in terms of dog and cat control.
Concerns raised regarding cat curfews and designated dog areas are not included in the draft local law, but the recommended changes to dog and cat control will be presented to the community for comment down the track.
"These types of issues will be addressed once the Local Law is finalised and specific policies and Council orders are developed to support the Local Law," Mr King said.
Currently residents are able to own two dogs or cats in built-up areas and four in non-built up areas but though the numbers have remained the same for dogs, the number of cats a person will be able to own across the shire has been reduced to a maximum of two.
For people who already own more than two cats, a permit will need to be acquired. The council confirmed owners would not be asked to re-home any of their cats.
Meanwhile, other changes have been made to the numbers of other animals residents are able to keep with cows, pigs and horses no longer allowed on smaller properties.
A new clause has also been included in an effort to protect council drains and another around the collection of firewood, dead trees, branches, fruit or flowers from road reserves and council land.
The clause stipulates that people are not to remove firewood or other vegetation from road reserves or other council land unless council signage says otherwise.
Another new clause has also been included to ensure trees and other vegetation are not planted on council road reserves.
Clearer laws around burning off have also been included.
Mr King encouraged the community to review the draft local law and submit feedback.
"Having your say will help ensure the Hepburn Shire is a great place to live, work and visit," he said.
The draft local law is open to submissions until Monday, October 21. To read a copy or to make a submission visit the council website or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Copies can also be read at the Daylesford library and shire customer service centres.
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