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Cry fowl

Possible urban-chicken ordinance draws public ire

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 9:35 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 9:53 a.m. CDT

A possible urban-chicken ordinance for the city of Osceola might ruffle a few feathers.

Osceola City Council has discussed creating an ordinance, which would allow people to keep chickens inside city limits.

During an Oct. 15 Osceola City Council meeting, Dan Hooper of Osceola addressed the council during its public forum to discuss a possible urban-chicken ordinance.

“Is it going to stop with chickens or are we going to have somebody that wants goats to milk? Well, it could come down the road,” he said.

Hooper said he was concerned with more potential livestock issues that could come in the future.

In Osceola, there is a city code regarding livestock. Part of the code says it is unlawful for a person to keep livestock, which includes chickens, within the city limits, except by written consent of the council.

Mayor Fred Diehl said chickens are allowed in Des Moines, and Councilwoman Sarah Truitt added Des Moines doesn’t allow goats in the city limits.

Iowa City’s ordinance

City Administrator/Clerk Ty Wheeler said a good urban-chicken ordinance to study would be Iowa City’s ordinance.

In the Iowa City’s Division of Animal Services’ urban-chicken permit application, it states no roosters are allowed and the maximum number of hens is four within city limits.

The initial permit application fee is $100 and a renewal permit fee is $75.

Iowa City’s urban-chicken ordinance states any person wanting to keep chickens shall first receive written approval from all property owners’ adjacent to the property where the proposed chickens are to be kept.

Adjacent means all parcels of property that share a property line with the applicant’s property, including properties that contact each other only at one point.

For more information on Iowa City’s urban-chicken ordinance and permit application, check out the sidebars on the right.

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