George W. Davis

GREEN: City Council is expected to vote May 8 over whether to allow chickens to come home to roost at many residential lots.

The change would allow chickens on two-acre lots opposed to the present five-acre lot requirement.

When At-Large Councilman Gerard Neugebauer conducted a public hearing on the matter last week ó just two residents voiced their opinion.

If approved, the new rules would allow a maximum of only eight laying hens on at least a two-acre residential lot. Roosters would be prohibited.

Neugebauer said the chickens would have to be confined to a fenced-in backyard area at least 30 feet from all property lines. An enclosed chicken coop structure would have to be 20 feet from any property line.

And the property owner would have to file paperwork with the cityís zoning department.

Any complaints or problems would have to be corrected within seven days.

Killinger Road resident Patrick Conahan told the council last week that he prefers keeping the ordinance at five acres. He wondered who would enforce and inspect the properties and whether the measure would apply to all areas of the city.

Neugebauer said the zoning department would enforce the rules and answer any complaints. He said any residential property that meets the minimum acreage would be allowed to have chickens.

Spade Road resident Ron Vargo, who brought the change request to council, said he has 3.5 acres surrounded by farmland and wants chickens for his three daughters to raise. He also wants access to fresh eggs.

Vargo said Green is the only city around that has a five-acre rule.

Other cities donít have a minimum acreage rule, he said, adding that the law would have been changed elsewhere if there had been a problem.

He questioned the cityís instance that there be a floor in chicken coops.

Ward 1 Councilman Jim Colopy said the intent of the regulation was to have a structure for the chickensí protection in bad weather rather than just a fenced-in area.