The Electric City Council put out the welcome mat for chickens at its Tuesday night meeting.
Council members looked at the new chicken ordinance prepared by the planning commission and liked what they saw. After routine comments and suggestions, they passed it.
Come Monday, Feb. 18, it will be lawful for residents to have chickens, up to six. You’ll still have to use your alarm clock because the ordinance specifies no roosters.
There are a lot of regulations. No loose chickens. There’s a chicken license you have to get at city hall - $15 worth. And among a long string of regulations, here’s one for the books: You can’t slaughter chickens in Electric City. If you plan to raise chickens so you can fry up a mess, then you’ll have to go to one of the neighboring towns to kill and dress them. So if you intend to conduct classes on plucking or gutting chickens, you likely won’t scare up a bunch of students in Electric City.
The council, showing its knowledge of the chicken, passed around poultry magazines to build its confidence. Councilmember Brad Parrish made the motion and John Nordine seconded it. The ordinance passed unanimously.
Chickens must be at least 15 feet back from your property line and at least 20 feet away from neighbors.
You must have at least four square feet of space for each chicken, and pens cannot be larger than 120 square feet in size.
And if you thought of having your chickens out in front of your house, forget it, you need to keep your barnyard in your backyard.
Chicken tractors can come into play, if you want to spend a few extra bucks. A chicken tractor is a pen on wheels. Nothing in the regulations says you can’t motorize your chicken tractor and take your chickens for a drive -- in the backyard, that is.
Chicken manure must be managed, according to the ordinance.
The annual license is $15 and must be renewed each year.
The ordinance also requires a one-time purchase of a coop license, another $50. You even have to submit a site plan showing where your chickens will be located on your lot. The city will visit your chicken site to see if it meets all the requirements.
And last, but certainly not least, annual chicken licenses and coop licenses are not transferable.
And you can keep any eggs the chickens produce.