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CHICKENS? — Col. City resident seeks change in ordinance

April 11, 2012

COLUMBIA CITY — An ordinance discussion came before the Columbia City Common Council Tuesday regarding the city’s restricted animals ordinance.

Currently, part of the wording reads “.... the term ‘restricted animal’ as used in this section means: poultry, horses, cows, goats, swine, sheep ...”.

Resident Robin Lahrman has requested the ordinance be changed to allow for chicken hens. Specifically, Lahrman would like to keep up to 12 of them.

“I believe that you will be responsible,” Weigold said. “But if we open it up, will the next people be responsible?”

One way waste is disposed of is through composting. Lahrman said if waste needs to be collected, her husband digs a hole, composts the waste into the ground, and covers it will an additional inch of fresh dirt.
Lahrman also plans to you a portable, non-stationary coop that would allow for waste to dissipate with the rain.

According to Lahrman, chickens only have a strong odor in large quantities.

Councilman Bill Simpson agreed, saying “I have had chickens most of my life and I don’t believe a half dozen birds will create near the waste of an 80-pound dog.”

Lahrman said in addition to the portable coop, the area around her property where she would keep the hens will also be properly fenced off to keep the chickens in and potential predators out.

“If we’re going to change the ordinance, we need to make it descriptive because if we don’t, we’ll have to come back and change it again,” said Daniel.

One proposed change the council seemed to agree on was to exclude roosters, and try to find wording that excludes other types of fowl or poultry.

The committee will meet for the first time in early May, and even with an adopted ordinance change, it is not expected to be in time to allow for hens until they can be safely transported and handled next year.

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