Chicken Ordinance Could Come to Ashland

6 years 8 months 1 minute ago July 29, 2010 Jul 29, 2010 Thursday, July 29 2010 Thursday, July 29, 2010 7:12:05 PM CDT in News
ASHLAND - Raising chickens in the city has become a popular trend.  Columbia passed a chicken ordinance in February.  Now, Ashland city leaders may pass one as well.

The Ashland Planning and Zoning Commission presented a proposal Tuesday to the Board of Aldermen that will restrict the number of chickens a resident can own.

It is legal to raise chickens in Ashland, but it is against the law to keep any livestock or poultry in an outdoor pasture or coop within 100 feet of the house.  City leaders would to extend those limitations.

Ashland Ward 2 Alderman John Hills said, “We don’t believe at this present time that its considered a large number of people will be affected by a chicken ordinance.  And that’s why we actually feel it’s time to enact an ordinance that people who do choose to raise chickens will understand what the parameters are and what regulations they have to raise those chickens by.”

Currently, the city as no restriction on the number of chickens a person can have.  The proposed ordinance would make 10 the limit.

But Ashland Ward 3 Alderman Matt Uhrig disagrees,“If we’re going to place a restriction like that, the number 10 is too big.  That’s my personal feeling.”

The board would need to consider more than just the number of chickens to make the ordinance clear to residents.

“Basically, there are quite a few questions raised.  You would think a chicken ordinance would be simple to make a determination, but it’s not,” Hills said.  “There’s concern about vermin attracting into yards that house chickens.  There is concern about the maintenance of the chicken.  The neighbors acceptance of their neighbor raising chicken...So, what seems like a simple question to answer sometimes takes more research and time.”

Columbia resident Asha Xu owns a chicken and agrees with the chicken restrictions.

“Well, I think it’s a good idea to not keep it in your house,” Xu said.  “I’m really not too clear on what it is in Columbia, but yeah, I think it’s pretty necessary.”

The board plans to discuss this issue among others at its meeting next Tuesday.

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