BRISTOL, Tenn. — To crack down on 24-hour dog tethering, Bristol Tennessee City Council approved on first reading Tuesday night an amendment that would ban dog tethering from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Councilman Chad Keen cast the dissenting vote against the amendment. It would allow city residents who work night shifts or own dogs for hunting or sporting purposes to get a permit that would set a different eight-hour period during which they would not be allowed to tether their dog. He said the existing ordinance on the treatment of pets in the city is already difficult for law enforcement to enforce, and there is evidence that tethering at night may be preferable to tethering in the day in some cases.

However, Councilman Vince Turner said he’s skeptical about how effective the change would be at stopping 24-hour tethering, although members of the Bristol Tennessee Police Department told him they would be able to enforce the amended ordinance.

If approved on second reading at the December City Council meeting, the ban would take effect July 1, 2020.

Council is also expected to discuss potentially requiring pets within the city to be spayed or neutered at its next regular work session on Nov. 26. Speaking as a member of the public, Trevor Leonard, the owner of The Answer on Sixth Street, said he opposes the move because the city has no right to tell him what to do with his dog.

Council also voted 4-1 in favor of an amended zoning map on second reading that changes the zoning of two residential Hill Street properties to B1-A, with Mayor Margaret Feierabend voting against it out of concern for the neighborhood residents. Wallace Properties Management Group sought the zoning change because it wants to demolish the existing houses on the properties and use the land for a car lot.

Some neighbors previously expressed negative and positive feelings about the rezoning. Cherith Young, the city’s planning service’s manager, said she received three calls on Tuesday alone from Hill Street residents who oppose the rezoning. But no one from the public spoke about the amendment during the hearing.

In other business, City Council also approved:

» an amendment that would create a new type of permit that will allow craft beer retailers to sell beer for on-site and off-site consumption.

» the sale of a property at 350 Henson St. to Jeff Tester, a city employee for $11,000. Earlier this year, city staff highlighted surplus properties, and the Henson Street property was one of 10 the city put up for sale on City Attorney Danielle Smith said it’s the only property that has sold. | 276-645-2412 | Twitter: @Leif_Greiss

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