City Councilors to discuss chickens again

BY NATE OTJEN | OCTOBER 24, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa City City Council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to approve a motion establishing a public hearing to discuss a proposed chicken ordinance in November.

The motion passed 7-0, setting the public hearing for Nov. 13.

The proposed ordinance would allow people to keep chickens as an accessory use to single family detached uses, and it would include standards for structures for the housing of chickens.

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

An Iowa City group, I-CLUCK, favors legalizing urban chickens, and it collected nearly 1,000 signatures from 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.

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