Common Council to Hear Chicken Ordinance at Tuesday Meeting

MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) – The Marshfield Common Council will hear a proposal to allow chickens to be raised within city limits at Tuesday’s meeting.

According to the packet distributed to the council members, “Chapter 9, Licensing and Permits, of the Municipal Code allows chickens (along with other farm type animals) in outlying areas away from residential properties.”

The proposal also states, “there are some requirements for allowing chickens in those outlying areas, such as obtaining a permit from the City Clerk, a recommendation from the building inspector and committee on health, the property has to be in an outlying district (not defined), and any animal enclosure has to be a minimum of 200 feet from another residence.”

In 2010, Sustainable Marshfield developed a draft ordinance to allow chickens within residential areas in the City of Marshfield. A public hearing was held at the Plan Commission and an ordinance was eventually brought forward for Common Council consideration in early 2011. After a few iterations and changes to the ordinance, the Common Council ended up not approving the ordinance.

Since 2013, Chapter 18, General Zoning Ordinance, classifies owning chickens as a
“Husbandry” use, which is only permitted in property zoned “RH-35”. The draft ordinance did not address any changes to the zoning code at the time because the old zoning code did not address owning chickens. Last summer, the council ultimately decided against a proposal of the same nature.

After the last Common Council meeting, an Alderperson said they would like to see this item on a future agenda. They also are willing to receive more background information about the ordinance proposal before they make a final decision.

Similar ordinances in other cities limit the number of chickens that can be on a property, allow only hens, don’t allow butchering and establish space requirements for the coop and pen.

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News Desk
Author: News Desk