Per the article, before the Council considers the proposal, they want to know among other things about any potential environmental impact related to animal waste.
Now, in my experience of owning both a Great Dane and two chickens, I'm always amused when I see naive arguments concerning the amount of waste generated by chickens. Our dog excretes more poop in a single bowel movement (he goes twice a day) than the girls do in a week.
In any case, the details of the proposed ordinance (thanks, Judy McGovern for summarizing them so well in the AAN article):
- Would-be hen owners would need a permit and would be subject to noise laws.
- Permits would be granted only to residents of single- or two-family homes.
- Birds would have to provided with a covered enclosure and fenced or in that enclosure at all times.
- Chicken coops would have to be 10 feet from any property line and no closer than 40 feet from any residential structure on an adjacent property. (Neighbors could agree to a waiver.)
- Coops and feed would have to be secured to prevent problems with mice or other pests.
I'm not such a fan of the "enclosed at all times" provision, as that effectively negates their ability to earn their keep eating bugs and weeds.
Here's hoping Ann Arbor joins the ranks of the urban-chicken-friendly cities.