March 14, 2017 – West Bend, WI – On Monday, March 20 the West Bend Common Council will talk about possibly amending the municipal code regarding keeping live chickens within the city limits. Currently the city’s ordinance bans keeping livestock in outdoor pens or sheds within the city.
Live chickens in urban areas is a hot topic. Over the years Madison and Green Bay adopted ordinances allowing chickens while other communities, like Wauwatosa, have given the idea a 1-year trial run.
In Washington County, the Village of Slinger approved chickens in 2015. Some of the stipulations include having up to six hens, no roosters, the building inspector must approve a coop, and there’s a $10 license fee.
Dist. 4 Alderman Chris Jenkins is the one bringing the bird to the table, so to speak. He acknowledged there is quite a bit to discuss. “We’d talk about things like noise and cleanup and how much of a distance the coop would be from your neighbor’s lot line,” he said.
After Slinger passed its ordinance in 2015, the Village of Kewaskum broached the subject.
“I’ve looked into it and Oshkosh allows chickens, Janesville and Mequon just passed an ordinance allowing chickens within the city limits,” Jenkins said. “I think allowing self sustainability is great.”
Jenkins researched obstacles that may arise. “Obviously no roosters and keeping it small is a good idea,” he said. “All the communities I’ve talked to didn’t really have a problem.”
In 2013 the Common Council debated whether to allow teacup pigs as a family pet, rather than as the ordinance listed, as livestock.
The city attorney will have an ordinance drafted on Monday. A portion it reads: Ordinance Amending Section 9.07 and Creating Sections 9.075 and 12.175 of the Municipal Code regarding Keeping of Chickens in the City.
People who are passionate about chickens are encouraged to show up on Monday. The meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall. A full rundown of the agenda is available by clicking HERE.
Photo courtesy Kate Delcore – Washington County 4-H poultry project