File photoChickens belonging to Fenton resident Malissa Bossardet hang out in their cage. Bossardet wants an ordinance to allow chickens in the city. She sees having chickens is a growing trend and that more cities are allowing it.
FENTON, MI – the Fenton City Council will make a decision aboutbackyard chickens next week.
The decision will come nearly 11 months after the idea was firstproposed by resident MalissaBossardet.
At tonight’s city council meeting, the council discussed and agreed tobring a draft ordinance that would allow residents to have a maximum of threechickens and would require them to obtain a permit from the city up to a vote next week.
City Council member Les Bland proposed to the city council that itstart with three chickens under a code enforcement ordinance. He also said thecity has to start somewhere on the issue.
“So that young lady that came to us (city council) eight months ago,gets an answer one way or the other – either yes or no at our next councilmeeting,” Bland said.
The idea of an ordinance that would allow chickens has been in front ofthe city since September when resident Malissa Bossardet approached the planning commission, askingit to change its zoning ordinance.
The city’s ordinance currently prohibits non-domesticated animals inyards.
At tonight’s meeting, the city council discussed two options for theordinance: one as a proposed zoning ordinance – which the ordinance has alwaysbeen discussed as – and the second as a code enforcement ordinance, where ifresidents do not have a permit or violate the ordinance, they will be fined.
There also is language in the proposed ordinances that would requireresidents to obtain a permit from the city. the permit also would preventresidents from being grandfathered in, if the city council chooses to prohibitchickens years down the road.
Bossardet, who attended tonight’s meeting, said she felt the codeenforcement ordinance was more intrusive than the zoning ordinance and wouldhave rather seen the city council allow six chickens, rather than three.
“I’m disappointed if that’s the answer,” Bossardet said.
Bossardet said she felt the council’s discussion was a step back.
File photoFenton resident Malissa Bossardet wants an ordinance to allow chickens in the city. She sees having chickens is a growing trend with more cities are allowing it.
In May, the city council discussed the backyard chickens ordinance and sent the draft to the planningcommission to refine some of the restrictions – such as the number of chickens,which the city council had discussed, citing if three or five chickens would beappropriate. However, the planning commission voted down the ordinance.
“I’m not going to vote for this if it’s over three chickens,” saidCheryl King, council member.
The draft ordinance has the same type of restrictions as previously –prohibiting roosters and slaughtering of chickens and only allowed them tosingle-family detached homes.
The previously proposed ordinance also required that chickens remain infully-enclosed coop that be at least 25 feet from any dwelling on a neighboringproperty or 10 feet from the property line.
Violators would be fined for $125 for the first day, $250 for the second day and $500 forevery day after, said Brad Hissong, city building/zoning administrator.
Dana DeFever can be reached at810-429-3919 or . You can also follow her on Twitter @DanaDeFever orsubscribe to her on Facebook.