Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Salt Lake City mulls changing horse-carriage regulations

First Published Jan 07 2014 09:04 pm • Last Updated Jan 07 2014 10:19 pm

Salt Lake City’s new ordinance regulating horse-drawn carriages may be a pony of a different color.

Rather than simply tighten regulations in the wake of the Aug. 17 collapse of a horse on a downtown street, the City Council appears to be poised to allow horse-drawn carriages to operate only under contract with the municipality.

At a glance

SLC Council picks charmen

Charlie Luke was unanimously elected chairman Tuesday evening.

Luke Garrott was chosen co-chairman, also unanimously

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

That would give the city more muscle than it has under its present ordinance that regulates the equine-powered carriages through business licensing.

"A contract-form of regulation gives us a lot more flexibility," said Council Chairman Charlie Luke. "If they are out of compliance [with regulations], they have broken the contract."

Carriage for Hire, the only carriage company operating in Salt Lake City, has violated the present Salt Lake City ordinance on several occasions, according to Salt Lake County Animal Services, which contracts with the city on animal-related issues.

Most recently, the carriage company was found to be out of compliance for operating during the afternoon and evening rush hour. Salt Lake City issued a warning.

Luke noted that there is confusion between the city and county as to which is responsible for enforcing various parts of the ordinance. The council continues to wrestle with specifics of an ordinance overhaul that Luke proposed and one designed by the administration of Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker with the aid of Animal Services.

Rather than adopt either proposal Tuesday evening, the council determined to further analyze the administration’s proposal and merge some of its aspects with Luke’s plan. No date was set for the ongoing discussion.

Among a host of regulations, sticking points remain around the temperature range at which horses can work and whether a designated route should be implemented that would keep carriages off South Temple, but allow them along North Temple and Memory Grove.

The council seemed to be in agreement that carriage horses should be at least 3 years old, should work no more than eight hours a day with a 10-minute break each hour, and should not work more than five days a week.


story continues below
story continues below

But City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall wondered aloud if the days of horse-drawn carriages downtown had come and gone. Downtown is vibrant and crowded with automobile traffic, unlike it was in the mid-1980s when city leaders hoped carriages would enliven the city.

"The reason we brought horse-drawn carriages into downtown is no longer there," she said.

Of 17 speakers at a public hearing Tuesday evening, 15 said a ban should be implemented. Two asked for compromise. A common thread was that it is cruel to the animals to work on hard pavement breathing exhaust fumes in sometimes bitter cold or sweltering heat.

Jeremy Beckham, of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, had called for an outright ban of horse-drawn carriages after the horse’s death. In an interview Tuesday evening , he pointed to Carriage for Hire’s violations of the present city ordinance and said he is disappointed the operation’s license has not been revoked.

But, he added, the contract-form of regulation should be better at keeping carriage operators in compliance with regulations.

"It seems real hard for this business to be reined in," he said. "But the city is giving this a very hard look … and I respect that."

csmart@sltrib.com



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.