By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
Residents will be able to raise chickens right in their backyard with a new ordinance passed Tuesday.
The Camanche City Council approved the introduction and first reading of an ordinance regulating chickens and livestock within the city and approved the future reading by title only.
“We’ve never had complaints about chickens, but we didn’t have any laws regarding them and it needed to be addressed,” City Administrator Tom Roth said.
The Council began looking into laws regarding chickens in early May when a resident asked about raising chickens on his property to provide farm fresh eggs for his family. City officials remained split on the issue and drafted an ordinance regarding all livestock and domestic fowl. The ordinance limited livestock to agricultural land and properties with five contiguous acres.
After First Baptist pastor and former mayor Paul Willis addressed the Council with an informative report on the benefits of allowing urban chicken farming, the city decided to reconsider the ordinance with special treatment to chickens. Councilwoman Linda Kramer called his report an eye-opener.
“You really educated us,” Kramer said. “I think we need to look at this again with regard to the chickens.”
The new ordinance excludes chickens from several of the criteria for other domestic fowl and livestock. Chickens are now excluded from the requirement of zoned agricultural land, property of five contiguous acres and the requirement of the enclosure for animals being located no closer than 100 feet from any portion of principal structures.
Chickens, along with other domestic fowl or livestock, must be located no closer than 15 feet from a property line.
Only hens are permitted in the keeping of chickens. Roosters are prohibited in any area not zoned agricultural. The most significant of the changes is that chickens may be kept on single family residential properties within the city.
The number of chickens kept on residentially zoned properties is limited to no more than six chickens and the chickens may be kept in the rear yard only.
Domestic fowl that were kept within the corporate limits of the city on or before July 1, are exempt from the provisions of the ordinance.
• Approved a request for no parking on south side of 14th Place from Platt Park to Seventh Avenue and on west side of Hiawatha Lane from Middle Road to dead end of Hiawatha Lane for Camanche Days only.
• Approved a resolution establishing a policy regarding duties to be performed by the reserve peace officers in the city of Camanche.