Peacock ordinance fails in Grand Island

Grand Island City Council does not approve ordinance to prohibit peacock ownership within city limits
A proposed ordinance that would've made peacocks illegal within Grand Island city limits failed before Grand Island councilmembers Tuesday.
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 9:52 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Residents in northeast Grand Island have been experiencing an ongoing issue with wild peacocks.

During the Grand Island city council meeting Tuesday, the councilmembers voted on whether or not to approve a city ordinance which would make peacock ownership illegal within city limits. Despite concerns of some nearby residents, the vote failed to pass.

The birds have been living around Eldorado Road, free roaming through the streets and peoples’ yards. In the Animal Advisory Board meeting minutes from June 23, it states that one resident, referred to as Mr. Hemmer, reported the peacocks were noisy and left feces in unwanted places.

The exotic animals were once someone’s pets, but once the owner passed away the birds were released.

After receiving complaints from nearby residents, the City of Grand Island attempted to take steps to address the problem.

Interim City Attorney Stacy Nonhof spoke to Local4 News on the matter hours before she presented to item before the council meeting.

“If they vote in favor of the ordinance, we go forward with banning ownership of them and so, that’s really all it is,” Nonhof said. “So, basically it will prevent somebody from going out there, trapping one and bringing it home and putting it in an enclosure.”

Rita Hemmer, a nearby resident spoke during the public hearing portion of the meeting. She noted, the number of peacocks near Eldorado Road had drastically increased over the course of twenty years.

Hemmer said having the peacocks around has also caused an uptick in the amount of foxes in the area and wanted the ordinance to pass.

Another nearby resident took to the stand during the council meeting and said she hadn’t seen the birds do any damage.

Jim Wagner was the fourth speaker to talk on the peafowl during the meeting. He said he was a frequent visitor of the area where the animals roam.

Wagner noted, the planes taking off from Central Nebraska Regional Airport and the trains passing by on nearby tracks were louder than the noise made by the peacocks. Wagner asked the council not to approve the ownership of the birds.

Ultimately, the ordinance failed in a three-to-three vote, which needed a majority vote in order to pass.

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