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Town Council Considers Ordinance to Ban Roosters

The town council considered a change to the poultry ordinance Tuesday night to ban roosters in residential yards and limit the number of chickens.

Starting July 1, rooster owners may have 90 days to find a new home for their feathered friends other than their private yards.

The town council voted 3 to 2 Tuesday night to approve a recommendation made by the Planning Commission on April 27 to change the town's poultry ordinance. There will be a second reading of the ordinance June 1.

The new law would ban roosters in private yards and limit the number of chickens to either 20 or 10, depending on the zoning of the lot. The previous ordinance made no distinction between chickens and roosters.

The planning commission recommended the changes after receiving a number of complaints from residents about roosters crowing in the morning as well as the smell, noise and disturbances caused by having chickens on residential lots. They also noted enforcement of the poultry ordinance has tripled in the past year.

The new ordinance would provide a "grandfather clause" starting July 1, for people who currently keep roosters on residential property to find another home for them. The planning commission recommended a one year grace-period, however, the town council reduced that time to 90 days in their decision Tuesday night.

"A rooster shouldn't be around for more than three minutes," said Mayor Mike Doyle, who noted that his children were part of 4-H and kept chickens at home when they were younger, but that roosters could be a nuisance to neighbors.

Councilmember Newell Arnerich concurred with Mayor Doyle in his support of the ban on roosters, adding that "there are 4-H organizations that would love to get roosters."

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