Metro Council approves backyard chicken ordinance - WKRN News 2

Metro Council approves backyard chicken ordinance

Posted: Updated: Jan 3, 2012 07:31 PM

Metro Council members approved the second reading of a proposal to make it legal to raise chickens inside Nashville's city limits on Tuesday night.

Under the ordinance, residents would be allowed raise up to six domesticated hens, depending on property size, after obtaining a $25 permit that must be renewed annually.

As written, the ordinance requires chicken coops be at least 25 feet from any residential structure and 10 feet for any property line.

The hens can only be raised for non-commercial use and roosters will still be illegal within city limits.

Urban Chicken Advocates of Nashville, or UCAN, pushed for approval of the ordinance and showed its support at Tuesday's meeting.

The group had collected signatures and selling yellow t-shirts for supporters to wear.

One Nashville realtor in support of the chickens said during the public comment portion of the meeting, "I really feel that the property values if anything go up because of it [chickens], because of the kind of people want backyard chickens."

UCAN member Julie Simpson owns four domesticated hens and told Nashville's News 2 the measure's approval will help Nashville residents have a healthier sustainable source of food.

"We are trying to educate the public about what [the ordinance] is and what it is not," she said, adding, "Even after the ordinance is passed, we plan to go out to church groups, neighborhood meetings and let people know if you want to do this it is not a light undertaking."

Though only a handful in opposition attended Tuesday's meeting, those against the ordinance, including Metro Council members, were firm that they do not want chickens in their neighborhood.

"The people in my community do not want it, and if we pass this 2nd reading I will start working on an amendment to actually try to exempt my district," said District 33 Council member, Robert Duvall.

If the measure passes a third and final reading, Metro Animal Control would issue the annual permits and respond to complaints about domesticated hens.

The department already handles complaints about chickens in the county.

A similar urban chicken measure failed to pass in 2009.

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