Council debates rezoning: Breeding, sale of miniature donkeys causes concern
The Mesquite City Council postponed until its next meeting a final decision on a rezoning case to allow the breeding of miniature donkeys. The property in question currently has 11 donkeys on it. - Photo courtesy of the city of Mesquite
The Mesquite City Council postponed until its next meeting a final decision on a rezoning case to allow the breeding of miniature donkeys.
The property in question currently has 11 donkeys on it. The property owner was seeking the rezoning so they can operate a business on the site.
"The applicant wants to run a business on the property, and as it is now it is zoned for residential use," said Richard Gertson, director of community development.
Several council members discussed the zoning change at length during its pre-meeting on Monday, Jan.7, expressing concerns that the rezoning could open the door to allow the property owners to seek an agricultural property tax exemption.
"To obtain the exemption, the property must have three successive years where it can show income generated from the property," Gertson said.
The council was concerned that if the exemption were obtained on the property, it could hinder the potential redevelopment of the property, since the property would require rollback taxes to be paid from the time the exemption was granted.
The council was presented with two options for the rezoning, one created by the city staff and another recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The city staff recommended rezoning the property as a planned development agricultural with a conditional use permit allowing the breeding of miniature donkeys. The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approving a straight agricultural zoning with a conditional use permit for the breeding of miniature donkeys and other livestock production on the property.
"At the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, they went back to the applicant's original proposal of agricultural because it allows livestock on the property," Gertson said.
The council held the public hearing but voted to table a decision on the rezoning request until its next council meeting on Jan. 22 to allow the city staff to work with the property owner to alleviate the council's concerns.