Bainbridge proposes backyard chicken ordinance

Published 8:29 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2018

During Tuesday night’s Bainbridge City Council meeting, City Manager Chris Hobby presented the council with an introductory backyard chicken ordinance.

Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer had received calls and complaints about backyard chickens and asked Hobby to look into ordinances on them. Hobby presented the City with his research and said that backyard chickens are actually a growing trend, unfortunately the backyard chickens are not legal.

He modeled the introductory ordinance off of one based in Dunwoody, Georgia, that has been successful.

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The City would strive in the ordinance to be permissive enough to allow citizens to keep chickens on their property, but restrictive enough to protect the neighboring residents from unnecessary noise, odor and the invitation of rodents, wild birds or other predatory animals to the property.

The ordinance would not allow the keeping or raising of any roosters. It only allows for female chickens i.e. hens. The hens would need to be securely housed in coops and provided with runs. The construction of the chicken coop and run would need to comply with all applicable building codes and would allow no more than six chickens.

The chickens should only be kept on property for personal use. The selling of chickens, eggs or chicken manure would be prohibited, along with the breeding of chickens for commercial purposes. The ordinance also would state that chickens cannot be slaughtered on the premises.

Chicken coops that are located in the rear of the yard would need to be secured with a chain link or privacy fence that complies with the zoning ordinance in order to ensure that the person owning the chickens doesn’t let them off the premises and into neighboring areas.

The City Council heard the introduction and made a motion to have a public hearing and move forward with the ordinance at the next city council meeting.