Bear ordinance targets trash cans
A proposed ordinance would bar Glenwood Springs residents who don’t have bearproof containers from putting out their trash the night before its scheduled pickup.City Council is scheduled to consider the measure at its meeting tonight, when it also will resume consideration of possible revisions to the city’s noise ordinance. The proposed trash measure is similar to one in place in Steamboat Springs.”The underlying basis for the ordinance is to allow the city to deal with specific problems without requiring everyone to purchase wildlife-proof containers,” city manager Jeff Hecksel and city attorney Karl Hanlon said in a memo to City Council.City Council began considering a bear ordinance at the urging of fourth-graders from Glenwood Springs Elementary School who took on the bear problem as a class project. Bear encounters in town have been increasing. Last year, police responded to about 150 bear-related calls.Colorado Division of Wildlife district wildlife manager Sonia Marzec has joined the students in urging the city to look at ways to reduce bear attractants. Some jurisdictions, including Basalt, Aspen, Snowmass Village and Pitkin County, require use of trash containers designed to be wildlife-proof or wildlife-resistant.The proposed Glenwood ordinance would prohibit anyone not using a wildlife-proof container from putting out their trash before 6 a.m. on the morning of its scheduled pickup. The trash cans would be have to taken back inside by 8 p.m. the same day. The city also would be authorized to require use of a wildlife-proof container if it receives multiple reports of an animal getting into a trash container. Commercial trash containers kept outdoors would have to be wildlife-proof under the ordinance.Meanwhile, the city plans to begin phasing in replacement of trash containers in city parks with bearproof ones, at a cost of about $40,000. Last year, it converted to bearproof containers at Veltus Park.Also tonight, council will resume a noise ordinance discussion that it tabled in December, after hearing from the owners of Springs Theatre and the Bayou Restaurant, which is opening next door to the theater downtown. Theater owner John Buxman fears that a proposed noise ordinance revision would drive him out of business by allowing for live music that would disturb moviegoers.That revision would exempt a business within commercial zone districts from the city’s existing noise ordinance from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., “provided such business makes reasonable effort to contain any noise produced by the business within the confines of the business premises.”Hanlon has forwarded council four possible options for settling the matter:Approving revisions to the ordinance, including the commercial zone exemption, as currently worded.Deleting the commercial zone exemption.Shortening the hours of the exemption so they run from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.Leaving the city’s entire current noise ordinance as is.Among other proposed revisions in the ordinance is one that would require a commercial business to submit a noise mitigation plan to the city manager in the case of a second conviction for a noise violation.
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Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or firstname.lastname@example.org