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Published: Tuesday, 2/10/2009

Meeting set on banning feeding of deer in village


The Ottawa Hills village council plans to hold a public meeting March 2 to discuss a proposed law to prohibiting feeding deer in the village.

Village Manager Marc Thompson said the proposed ordinance results from concerns about the the deer and residents property values.

If passed, the ordinance would prohibit placing on the ground, or within five feet from the ground, any edible materials that can be reasonably expected to result in deer feeding unless such items are screened or otherwise protected from deer consumption, according to the draft.

Besides concerns for the increasing number of deer reported in the village, the proposed law is in response to an increasing number of complaints from village residents in the past 12 to 15 months about deer damaging property.

There have also been seven car-deer crashes reported on Central Avenue over the past year, Mr. Thompson said.

None of the crashes caused serious injuries to humans, he said.

The village s official Web site says deer feeding is bad because it: disrupts deer s natural feeding habits; attracts predators; increases disease transmission; draws deer into populated areas, increasing the likelihood of automobile accidents, and

wincreases the likelihood of confrontation between dogs and deer or people and deer.

Should the ordinance be passed, violators would face minor misdemeanor charges for the first offense. Each subsequent offense would be considered a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Property owners would be required to remove any device or materials placed on the property in violation of ordinance.

The prohibition would not apply to health department employees, law enforcement officers, or state or federal officials on duty or to feeding authorized by the village manager on an emergency basis or as part of a deer management program, according to the draft.

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