• Chickens Might Come Home to Roost If City Council Approves Bill


    by Mitch Lehman

    The San Marino City Council will re-visit the issue of local chicken ownership at tomorrow morning’s regularly scheduled meeting, slated for an omelette-hour start at 8:00 a.m. at City Hall.

    Ordinance 0-13-1271 was passed by the council several weeks ago and will be approved on second reading from the consent section, unless significant opposition appears.

    Pam King, a San Marino resident, approached the city last year inquiring about egg-laying chicken ownership. After much research and investigation into the farming practices of neighboring communities, an ordinance limiting ownership to no more than three chickens (but no roosters) was proposed and approved on first reading.

    The chickens must be located in a backyard, enclosed within a fence and kept no less than thirty-five feet from an adjoining residence.

    Chicken farmers must provide a coop and obtain a permit from the city. Chickens cannot be slaughtered, according to the San Marino ordinance, or used for commercial purposes. Both usages would be considered ‘fowl.’

    “Ours is probably the most restrictive ordinance for all of the surrounding communities,” said City Councilman Dennis Kneier, who voted for the the measure when it went before the council and was passed by a 4-1 tally. “Most other cities allow up to five chickens as well as a young rooster.”

    On the average, chickens produce one egg per day but occasionally skip.

    “We have received one or two letters from residents who don’t like the idea,” Kneier said. “If someone attends the meeting and complains, we’ll talk about it.”

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