Planning Commission rejects proposed chicken ordinance change

August 25, 2010

At their meeting Monday evening, the Hudson City Planning Commission rejected a proposed ordinance change that would have allowed city residents to raise chickens in their homes for their own use.

The question of allowing live poultry was raised several weeks ago, when 12-year-old Matthew Eichenberg presented a 54-signature petition to the Hudson City Council asking the council to revise the current city ordinance so he could raise chickens for a 4-H project, and share the resulting eggs with his family and his neighbors. However, Section 4-109 of the Hudson City Ordinance says that it is unlawful to raise, maintain, or harbor what are considered to be farm animals, including poultry, in the city limits except on property zoned as agricultural.

At the Council meeting in July, Council members commended Eichenberg for his initiative, but told him that he would have to take his proposal before the Planning Commission for approval before the Council could act on it.

However, the Planning Commission rejected the proposal on a 4-3 vote. City Manager Steve Hartsel reported that at lesat some of the Planning Commission members seemed to have felt that a lot of work went into the 2004 ordinance, and that it was probably not a good idea to quickly change it.

Hartsel said that he proposed allowing the chickens under a “conditional use permit” which would carry some restrictions, including being done on a case-by-case basis with the approval of nearby neighbors.