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Is White Salmon going baa-baa for lambs?

White Salmon residents may soon be able to keep project lambs for a limited period of time during the year.

Photo by Amber Marra
White Salmon residents may soon be able to keep project lambs for a limited period of time during the year.

The White Salmon City Council last Wednesday gave every indication that it is going to amend its Animal Ordinance to allow residents to keep project lambs for a limited period of time during the year.

The council and Mayor David Poucher expressed their interest in the idea following a presentation by the leaders of the new Big River 4-H Club, Jamie Kindler and Stephanie Gross.

Gross told Councilors Jason Sabourin, Allan Wolf, Bill Werst, George Rau, and Kimberly, and Poucher that Klickitat County 4-H “wants to get more kids [from this end of the county] involved in the program.”

She added, “If you can encourage it in any way, even if it means allowing one lamb in town, that would be a start.”

The impetus for the request came after Kindler went to City Hall to get a license for her dog. She saw on the application that goat ownership is allowed in city limits “and I thought maybe sheep would be acceptable too.”

Kindler has children who want to raise lambs as 4-H projects for the County Fair. She said lambs are reared from March 1 through the end of the Klickitat and Skamania County fairs, where the lambs are sold by 4-H members in market stock sales.

4-H club members are limited to one lamb each, and each project lamb requires about 20 square feet of space, according to Kindler.

“I like the idea of a time period because it means people aren’t going to keep the animal around until it’s full grown,” City Attorney Ken Woodrich said.

Poucher advised Gross and Kindler that discussion of an amendment to the Animal Ordinance would be added to the agenda for the council Feb. 9 retreat, at which time a decision could be made.

In other business, the City Council approved finalization of the Sun Vista Estates Short Plat subject to the property owner putting up a construction bond to ensure construction of storm water drains and road improvements is completed.

The council amended its motion to include requirements that the work be finished by Sept. 1 and that the bond be set at $150,000, as recommended by City Administrator/Public Works Director Patrick Munyan Jr.

“The city needs protection to make sure the project is completed [according to city short plat regulations,” Munyan said.

Woodrich advised that state law gives the city authority to establish an adequate bond and the landowner up to two years to complete the work. If it hasn’t been completed by then, the city can enforce the bond to get the job done.

The issue of a construction bond arose, in a roundabout way, after the city annexed the Sun Vista Estates last year. Property owner Dick Smith, who now lives in Vancouver, started the short plat under Klickitat County regulations. Munyan told the council that the county allowed Smith to start building and selling lots before the short plat had been finalized, “which is not legal in the city limits.”

Because the developer was not following city regulations, the city red-tagged the property last year to halt further work until the project came into compliance with city regulations

Smith indicated that it is his every intent to complete the project in less than six months, per city requirements, though “I thought we’d be farther along.”

He said winter rains have affected the construction schedule for the storm water drain system. As for the additional bond requirements, Smith said, “We are willing to put up whatever is necessary to protect the city...We are just asking you to help us do this.”


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