Chicken

A second Pacific resident has asked aldermen to enact an ordinance that would allow residents to keep chickens in residential zoning districts.

Speaking at the Dec. 15 board meeting, Debbie Goss, who lives at 214 E. Bellevue, told aldermen that she had prepared an amendment to the current ordinance prohibiting fowl in the city.

Goss presented copies of her proposal to aldermen and asked that the amendment be placed on the agenda for the next board of aldermen meeting and then read twice in one night.

Mayor Jeff Palmore said citizens do not write ordinances for the city. He said an attorney must prepare bills to be considered as ordinances.

Goss is the second resident to request a change in animal regulations to allow residents to keep chickens on their property.

On Nov. 3, Dawn Metzger, 705 N. First St., asked the city to change its ordinance, which now prohibits chickens in residential neighborhoods, saying she wants to produce her own eggs, for health reasons.

At that meeting, Palmore asked the city attorney to draft an ordinance making it legal for residents to keep two female chickens in the single-family residential zoning district. No roosters would be allowed.

At the Dec. 1 board meeting, Helen Biedenstein, 117 W. Bellevue, asked aldermen to reconsider plans to allow chickens. She said she lives next door to two chickens that are allowed to roam into her yard and down Highway OO where they disrupt traffic.

Biedenstein said chickens should not be allowed in the city.

Following Goss’ request, the mayor said before any ordinance is written, he would like to see a larger discussion on whether or not Pacific citizens would want chickens to be allowed in residential yards. He said there also needs to be a discussion on whether chickens would be regulated.

Palmore asked the operations committee to hold a public meeting on the topic and invite parties who like the idea and residents who oppose it to speak.

“There is a lot to talk about, like how would the chickens be maintained, and (whether the city would be) tagging them,” Palmore said.

There also are questions about the type of structure where they would be housed, whether they would be free to roam at night and would the chickens or the owner be licensed or required to have a permit.

Alderman Carol Johnson, operations committee chair, said she would place the topic on the Wednesday, Jan. 6, committee meeting, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. at city hall. The public is invited.