BG scrambles to revise egg-laying chicken rule PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 10:56
Bowling Green City Council will likely decide Nov. 19 if it will move forward with a zoning code amendment that would allow the raising of egg-laying chickens in residential neighborhoods.
A committee of the whole discussed the issue for about 65 minutes Monday night before deferring a decision for two weeks. Council first heard public comments and then discussed a draft ordinance that had been prepared at its direction by City Attorney Michael Marsh.
Council members will suggest revisions to Marsh in the next two weeks.
Members Bruce Jeffers, Sandy Rowland and John Zanfardino indicated they want council to introduce legislation, while Mike Aspacher and Robert McOmber were not in favor. Greg Robinette said the matter had been given a good review by the planning commission and a subcommittee. "The proper process had been followed to get to this point," Robinette said. Daniel Gordon said he was undecided but offered a motion to get the issue moving toward a vote.
At that point several members said they had possible amendments and wanted some blank spaces in the draft proposal filled in before moving forward.
CouncilĀ  then decided on no action before Nov. 19.
Zanfardino said council would take up the issue within the regular council meeting, rather than in a committee of the whole session. He assured residents that if council decides to introduce legislation, it would be considered at three meetings. That would give residents three opportunities to speak to council. Since the legislation is an amendment to the zoning code, a public hearing would also be required before council could vote.
Since there are just three regular council meetings set for 2012, it seems likely council would not vote until early 2013.
Council already has a 6 p.m. public hearing Nov. 19 on a controversial rezoning proposal involving several properties on North Prospect, East Wooster and North Summit streets. Legislation regarding the rezoning received a second reading Monday night.
The draft ordinance would amend the city's zoning code to allow chickens to be raised in certain residential neighborhoods as a conditional use for no more than 18 months. The 18-month "sunset provision" would reinstate the pre-exiting language banning chickens unless council renews or extends the ordinance by a majority vote.
Other provisions include a limit of five chickens, require all adjacent property owners to give written consent to the city planning office, limit the option to single-family dwellings, ban roosters, prohibit outdoor slaughtering of chickens, set housing and fencing requirements for the chickens, set sanitation requirements, establish setbacks for the henhouse location and require hens and the henhouse to be removed when an owner moves.
A blank space was left to establish a yearly fee for a permit. New written consent from adjacent property owners would be required when a permit is renewed.

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