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Bye bye birdie

Council stops looking into creating chicken ordinance

An urban-chicken ordinance for the city of Osceola has flown the coop.

During an Osceola City Council work session Dec. 12, the council approved the current ordinance regarding livestock in the city limits and not create a new ordinance that would allow people to keep chickens within city limits.

“They pretty much ended the discussion … at least for now,” said Ty Wheeler, city administrator/clerk, during a Dec. 13 interview with the Osceola Sentinel-Tribune.

In 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.

Wheeler said people will continue to have to get written consent by the council if they want to keep chickens within the city.

“They weren’t ready to amend the current ordinance,” Wheeler said.


The urban-chicken issue has been debated for the past couple of months.

During an Oct. 3 council meeting, there was a request to keep chickens at 306 N. Fillmore St.

The council decided to table the issue and look into creating an urban-chicken ordinance for the city.

Many cities in Iowa have urban-chicken ordinances, including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

Wheeler presented a rough-draft ordinance at a Dec. 3 council meeting.

Provisions in the draft covered the maximum number of birds, not allowing roosters, having a permit fee, requiring an enclosure for the chickens, citing nuisances from odor, noise, predators, waste, storage and removal and what happens if a chicken gets loose in the neighborhood.

A work session was scheduled Dec. 12 to continue working on the issue.


However, many citizens may have gotten their feathers ruffled by the potential of an urban-chicken ordinance for Osceola.

In an online reader poll conducted by Osceola Sentinel-Tribune, 80 percent of voters were against the proposal, 18 percent were in favor and 2 percent weren’t sure about the issue.

There were 551 participants in total.

“There was still a fair amount of hesitation to proceed with some sort of permit to allow chickens in the city,” Wheeler said.


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