Changes made to chicken language

Changes pertaining to chickens have been made to a proposed animal protection and control ordinance which will be presented for its third reading at Monday’s meeting of the City Council of Webster City.

Assistant City Attorney Zach Chizek said the changes were made following comments from the public at the last City Council meeting.

One of those concerns stemmed from language in the proposed ordinance which might allow people to keep chickens inside their homes. New language, which will be included in the third reading of the ordinance, says that no person shall keep hens inside of a single family dwelling unit, multi-family dwelling unit or rental unit, according to Chizek. The language only addresses hens because other language bans the keeping of roosters in residential areas.

Chizek said this change clarifies the Council’s intent. If the ordinance is adopted, people in residential areas will be allowed to keep hens in their backyards with a coup and nowhere else.

Another language change addressed concerns about large-scale, for-profit chicken operations appearing in residential areas. The most recent version of the proposed ordinance will not allow people in residential areas to keep or raise chickens for commercial or business purposes including, but not limited to, egg production, chicken breeding or fertilizer production.

“That way, people that have chickens at their property cannot sell them for any reason. They’re there for their personal enjoyment and their personal use,” Chizek said.

As the language only addresses residential areas, he said it wouldn’t affect local businesses who are in commercial zones.