City leaders will be looking into creating a citywide law that will prohibit the feeding of deer in Avon Lake.
The Avon Lake Environmental Affairs Advisory Board (EAAB) will be addressing deer management issues at its next public meeting Feb. 1 where they will consider forwarding an ordinance to council for approval.
“The EAAB is charged by the Charter to consider environmental and natural resource issues impacting the city and its residents,” Councilman Rob James, the current Environmental Committee chair, said. “Over the course of at least the past year, EAAB has been studying the deer issue with members of City Council, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Cleveland Natural History Museum, the Cleveland Metroparks, members of the community and others.”
Councilwoman Jennifer Fenderbosch, the previous council representative to the Board, brought up the issue at a December Environmental Committee meeting.
“The Department of Natural Resources is saying ‘don’t feed the deer,’” Fenderbosch said in December.
Fenderbosch has been a strong proponent of controlling the number of deer in Avon Lake. In the past year, overpopulation concerns have moved to the forefront in the city with the number of deer being cited as the cause of deforestation and a high number of traffic accidents, including
The city has had at least one complaint of deer feeding last year.
“I got a call that someone in Brittania Estates had 50 pounds of corn for feeding out,” Fenderbosch said. “It was starting to rot and there were a lot of droppings around the tree.”
Fenderbosch said that after the homeowner removed the corn, the stench remained.
“He was ordered by the city to dig up and replace the dirt,” Fenderbosch said.
The councilwoman said legislation she reviewed recommended allowing no more than ½ pound of feed under the height of six feet. Feed placed higher than six feet would be considered squirrel or bird feed.
Fenderbosch was using legislation approved in Onalaska, WI as a possible template for Avon Lake legislation.
That legislation says, “No person may place or allow any device or any fruit, grain, mineral, plant, salt, vegetable, or other material to be placed outdoors on any public or private property for the purpose of attracting or feeding deer.”
The legislation also states there is a presumption that the placement of fruit, grain, mineral, plant, salt, vegetable or other materials in an aggregate quantity of more than one half gallon at the height of less than six feet off the ground is for the purpose of feeding deer.
James said the community is welcome to attend the meeting and offer input. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 1 at , 32756 Lake Rd, Avon Lake.