The circus is not coming to town.

Not that there's anywhere to host it.

Huntington Beach's municipal code, which prohibits wild or exotic animals from performing within city limits, will remain in place. An effort to repeal the ban failed on a 4-3 vote by the City Council on Monday.

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Council members Matthew Harper, Dave Sullivan and Joe Carchio supported repealing the law, which is among the "obsolete" ordinances that Harper said he is trying to remove from the books.

Last year, he was successful in repealing the ban on hypnotism and pinball machine regulations.

The mayor said the prohibition on performances by wild or exotic animals is outdated because Surf City has no space.

"When this ordinance was passed, there was a lot of room in Huntington Center," Harper said. "It was before [it was] transformed to the Bella Terra [shopping mall] of today, and so the wide-open parking lots that may have been available to, like, a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus just aren't there anymore."

Additionally, the ordinance has the "unintended consequence" of preventing the use of such animals during cultural celebrations such as weddings, he said.

The prohibition was passed in 2002 as a way to protect wild and exotic animals from "cruel and inhumane treatment," according to the municipal code.

Some of the animals barred from performing in Huntington Beach are elephants, monkeys, bears, tigers, alligators, camels and emus.

Councilwoman Connie Boardman, who was on the council during the original vote for the ordinance, said members acted appropriately at the time.


KABC to broadcast the Fourth of July Parade

In other business, council members unanimously approved allowing local ABC affiliate KABC to broadcast live from Huntington Beach's annual Fourth of July parade.

KABC spokeswoman Diane Medina said the station had been looking for another community event to telecast across Southern California and found the city's event to be of great significance to the region.

The station currently broadcasts the Martin Luther King Jr. Kingdom Day Parade in South Los Angeles as well as the East Los Angeles Mexican Independence Day Parade.

Medina said bringing attention to such events "has been a really good service for the community, highlighting the wonderful things that are happening but also spreading the enjoyment of that event beyond that specific community."

She added that she will look into the possibility of live-streaming the event and rebroadcasting it on the city's local cable channel.


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