Why’d the chicken cross the road? To sway the Smyrna Town Council

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Chickens are on the mind of the Smyrna Town Council with several people in town saying the old ordinance is for the birds.

Except for property that is zoned agriculturally, most in town are unable to keep fowl in their backyards.

Home gardening is a passion project for the Sasser family, providing fresh food for nine-year-old Tyler.

“Our son has severe food allergies,” explained Nikki Sasser. “Knowing that we have pure food makes a difference; it’s life threatening in our family.”

Tyler may soon have pure, organic eggs from chickens raised right in his backyard after the most recent city council meeting.

“If you lived within 1,000 feet of any residence, business or street, you are prohibited from having chickens,” noted Harry Gill, Smyrna Town Manager. “A gentleman spoke, requesting that the council revisit the ordinance.”

Many surrounding cities allow fowl in town under strict guidelines, including Nashville and Murfreesboro.

A petition has made the rounds in town, garnering dozens of signatures, but talk online, and on Smyrna streets, is mixed.

“Chickens do, they drive a dog crazy, they really do. It’d be a lot of barking in the neighborhood,” said Larry Gray, a Smyrna resident who grew up on a farm. “To vote against it, or for it, I would have to vote against it.”

But a vote is likely months away. While the Sassers hope and plan for their backyard fowl, the city hopes to not ruffle any feathers.

“At this juncture we’ll study it, listen to the community, and go from there,” said Gill.

City officials say they will discuss the ordinance during their next workshop. From there, the issue would need to pass through two different readings at council meetings.

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