Lakeway amends city code pertaining to animals

Lakeway police Chief Todd Radford addressed City Council on Sept. 16 regarding the update to the animal portion of the city code.

Lakeway police Chief Todd Radford addressed City Council on Sept. 16 regarding the update to the animal portion of the city code.

After a third reading of a several-times revised portion of Lakeway’s city code pertaining to animals, City Council voted to officially amend the updated language.

The code was officially updated during the Sept. 16 meeting and now contains clarified definitions and regulations for animals and pets within the city, including an update mandating that all dogs and cats be either tagged, tattooed or microchipped in what has been redefined as a mandate for “traceable identification.”

Lakeway Police Department Chief Todd Radford has been heading up the code update effort, and during the Sept. 16 meeting he said all of the previous recommendations have been taken into account upon the most recent code update.

"I like that we have disbanded an antiquated process," Mayor Sandy Cox said of the code update.

Among many revisions, the new code defines acceptable care and living conditions for animals; develops permit systems and regulations for commercial facilities, such as kennels; regulates acceptable animal restraints, including leashes; define how many animals are permitted per owner; regulates enforcement guidelines for animals left in hot cars and tethered outside in extreme weather; clarifies the differences between domestic versus wild animals; and defines fencing and enclosure requirements for pets.

The change to the city code also solidifies other policy revisions discussed during an Aug. 12 council session item that brought forth definitional expansions of what constitutes a public nuisance or vicious animal and the conditions through which they can be removed from the city.

Other final revisions changed the traceable identification for animals from four months to when the animal is weaned, added an exception to the definition of "cruelty to animals" to allow the city's deer control program, and changed leash requirements to require dogs on 25-foot leashes in public parks to have their leashes retracted near people or other animals to no more than 6 feet.

Unchanged in the code are the $50 general impound flat fee for animals without traceable identification, the $50 per day fee for first offenders and the $100 per day fee for repeat offenders.

In a related matter, Lakeway City Council Member Louis Mastrangelo donated a handheld thermal infrared camera to the Lakeway Police Department.

A city document states the primary use for the Fluke TIS40 9HZ model camera, valued at $3,586, is to locate lost animals in heavily wooded, vegetated or darkly lit areas, and for that reason it will go to the Lakeway police's animal control officer.

“Since receiving the device, Council Member Mastrangelo has found its personal use fun but limiting,” the document states.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


A photo of the Travis County headquarters sign
Austin Public Health officials say they plan to increase support to Latino community, where coronavirus hospitalizations are up

As of May 26, 76 Hispanic individuals in Travis County were hospitalized with COVID-19, representing around 78% of all hospitalizations.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Travis County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
92nd coronavirus death reported in Travis County

Active hospitalizations in the metropolitan area dropped from 97 to 88 over the past 24 hours.

Travis County continues to urge residents to follow social distancing guidelines when out in public. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Travis County officials: 20 new coronavirus hospitalizations per day would strain local hospital capacity

Dr. Mark Escott said new admissions per day is a key measure to determine if the county should be more or less restrictive in its guidance to residents and businesses.

A May 27 preliminary budget discussion showed Central Health expects to see a slow-down in property tax revenue growth in fiscal year 2020-21. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Early budget forecasts from Central Health show anticipated 'slow-down' in tax revenue collection

Preliminary budget forecasts from Central Health show the health care district anticipates a slow down in tax revenue collection growth.

A photo of red wine being poured
Hamilton Pool Vineyard & Farms now open in Southwest Austin

The vineyard will also eventually include a farm-to-table restaurant and wedding venue.

Westlake High School's 2020 commencement ceremony will go live on the district's website at 7 p.m. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Graduation celebrations underway for Westlake High School class of 2020

The Westlake High School and Eanes ISD community will celebrate its graduating class of 2020 with a series of socially distant events May 28.

West Lake Hills city officials issued a proclamation during a May 27 meeting in honor of all 2020 graduates. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
In West Lake Hills, May will forever be known as 'Class of 2020 Month'

West Lake Hills city officials issued a proclamation during a May 27 meeting in honor of all 2020 graduates.

Outdoor venues in all Texas counties will be permitted to operate at up to 25% capacity starting May 31. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Spectators to be welcomed back to Texas outdoor sporting events May 31 at 25% of venue capacity

Venue owners must operate under guidelines that facilitate appropriate social distancing.

Each eligible child will receive $285 in benefits. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Some Texas students eligible for one-time federal benefit to aid with food purchases

Texas received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more than $1 billion in pandemic food benefits.

Dana Meserole Delorenzo will serve as the Eanes Education Foundation's new executive director. (Courtesy Eanes ISD)
Eanes Education Foundation names new executive director

Dana Meserole Delorenzo will serve as the Eanes Education Foundation's new executive director.

SpringFest 2020 will take place Oct. 17. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce announces new date for SpringFest 2020

Following a postponement due to the coronavirus, the Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce announced a new date for SpringFest 2020.

A screen shot of Dr. Mark Escott speaking
Austin Public Health planning response in case of coronavirus hospitalization spike

As local health authorities monitor an upward trend in COVID-19 cases, they are bracing for a possible uptick in hospitalizations.