City Council could once again discuss possibility of a chicken ordinance

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 19, 2012 6:30 AM

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The chicken debate is popping up again with a motion set before the Iowa City City Council to establish a public hearing discussing the matter further in November.

The motion will be looked at during the Oct. 23 meeting; it would establish a public hearing on the matter on Nov. 13.

If the motion passes, the public hearing will discuss a proposed ordinance allowing people to keep chickens. The ordinance would include standards for structures for the housing of chickens.

City officials have discussed the chicken ordinance since 2009. Currently, city code prohibits citizens from raising farm animals — chickens included — in any residential area.

This summer, an Iowa City group in favor of legalizing urban chickens named I-CLUCK was able to collect nearly 1,000 signatures from local residents in support of the ordinance. The petition was presented to the City Council on July 10.

According to a 2009 city memorandum, the Department of Housing and Inspection Services recommended councilors not amend the zoning code.

Both Cedar Rapids and Ames allow backyard chickens.

-by Nate Otjen

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