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A chance for urban chickens

Pictured are chickens owned by Sarah Truitt within city limits after getting previous city council approval.
Pictured are chickens owned by Sarah Truitt within city limits after getting previous city council approval.

After having gone back and forth in a “chicken” dance of sorts, city council is back at looking at an urban chicken ordinance once again.

There is no livestock allowed in city limits, including poultry. However, residents of Osceola living within city limits have been able to address the council on a case by case basis if they wanted to own chickens at their residence.

In 2013 there was enough of a desire for urban chickens shown by citizens that an ordinance was written and on the agenda to be discussed at the Dec. 3, 2013, city council meeting.

The ordinance was moved to a workshop in which council voted to keep the current ordinance, meaning taking urban chickens on a case by case basis.

After the most recent city council meeting on Tuesday, another case was brought up for urban chickens. The citizen was granted permission by the council to have chickens at his residence.

Now, the ordinance that had been shot down in 2013 has been resurrected and will be on the agenda for the June 1 city council meeting. The council will then be able to look over the ordinance, make any changes or recommendations as they see fit, and then when the ordinance is satisfactory they will schedule the first public hearing on the urban chicken ordinance.

The ordinance defines where chickens can be kept, how to manage food and waste, nuisance definition among many other details about appropriate urban chicken handling.

“This is specifically chickens, it does not address anything else, no ducks or anything else,” said Osceola City Administrator Ty Wheeler.

Many other cities across the state have urban chicken ordinances, as knowing where food comes from becomes more important to consumers. Those other ordinances were studied in order to create the ordinance that will go before city council June 1.

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