The Brigham City Planning Commission met last night (2/1/2011) and had its first public comment discussion on a city ordinance to specifically allow chickens within residential zoning. My son and I were the only public who attended.
The commission had reviewed many city ordinances from cities along the Wasatch front who allow chickens and are taking the codes to build their own ordinance. They spent most of the time going through each section coming up with wording that was agreeable to all. They will hold an additional public comment meeting on March 1st.
Commissioner Larry Jensen was the only one to say he was opposed to an ordinance. He said he feels they are farm animals and should not be allowed in the city.
Items in the ordinance will be:
- Quantity of chickens (hens only) dependant on lot size
- size of coop
- set back from property line
- registration (per household not per hen...once every 2 years)
This is a step in the right direction to protect the city and those who have chickens.
I would like to see other chicken owners get involved in the public discussion to provide constructive input. Some things that people may not understand are:
- Chickens are quieter than dogs
- they don't roam the neighborhood like cats
- they require very little room for habitation
- they are inexpensive to feed and care for.
- they are domesticated animals (Gallus domesticus)
- they have been domesticated for about 8000 years (see Barbara West, Ben-Xiong Zhou, Did chickens go North? New evidence for domestication, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 15, Issue 5, September 1988, Pages 515-533, ISSN 0305-4403, DOI: 10.1016/0305-4403(88)90080-5.
- receiving eggs or meat from chickens is a good lesson for families to understand where their food comes from and what is required to provide it.