Backyard chicken debate still on table
INDEPENDENCE -- A vote on chickens in Independence could come before spring.
January 31, 2012INDEPENDENCE -- A vote on chickens in Independence could come before spring.
The Independence City Council has asked for rough draft legislation outlining rules for citizens being able to keep hens as personal pets in backyards.
This after majority of councilors, and Mayor John McArdle, expressed interest during a Jan. 24 meeting in seeing the city change its prohibition on poultry -- or at least explore it further.
"My thoughts on chickens have modified over time," McArdle said. "I think we can come up with something that makes sense for people who want to do this, without stepping on others."
A group of residents calling themselves the Monmouth-Independence Chicken Revolution has lobbied the two cities for several months, seeking an end to the ban on backyard hens.
Independence City Manager David Clyne said there would be a few concept ordinances presented to the council in late February.
A citizen proposal in 2010 to allow the birds in town died quickly after a slight majority of residents rejected the idea in an online survey. That questionnaire didn't go into specifics.
Four of the six councilors said they support chickens in the city, with certain restrictions.
The councilors generally suggested limiting birds to three to five, prohibiting roosters, and clarifying which types of residences or neighborhoods they would be allowed in.
They also stressed that there should be an explicit provision against slaughtering the birds for meat.
"We don't want any slaughterhouses," McArdle said.
Most stated the city would need a licensing system to help cover the cost of administration. Councilor Jerry Hoffman said he believed that those wanting to keep the birds should have to receive approval from their neighbors.
Councilor Forrest Peck said he wanted there to be a minimum education process for those interested in having birds.
Councilor Nancy Lodge adamantly opposed chickens in the city.
"I think most of the arguments by other councilors and the (Chicken Revolution) people could be applicable to other barnyard animals," she said.
"I'm not sure having all of those regulations is really something that the majority of citizens in Independence want," she added.