A Call For Public Input on the Bishop Chicken Question

Staff with the City of Bishop is currently looking for public input on the issue of allowing backyard chicken coops in the city limits.

At the January 11th Bishop City Council meeting, council members and members of the public discussed the legality of keeping chickens inside the city limits. The pro chicken camp claimed that chickens were legal, while those that opposed backyard chickens maintained that city law bans chickens. The council decided to ask for public input to see if there is interest in creating a new ordinance that specifically allows chickens or specifically bans the chickens.

Anyone who would like to weigh in is asked to answer three questions and send those answers to Community Services Director Keith Caldwell.

The first question is whether or not you live in the City of Bishop and asks that you state your address.

The second question is should the City of Bishop prohibit the keeping of poultry within the city limits?

The third question asks,if you don’t support poultry in the city limits, what restrictions or guidelines would you suggest?

An ordinance passed in 1966 prohibits any poultry or animal yard within one hundred feet of any building used for residential purposes. The 100 foot limit leaves very few if any location for poultry or animal yards in the City of Bishop. Where the controversy lies is in the definition of poultry or animal yard.

Backyard chicken supporters say that the law is intended to apply to commercial chicken coops. Those opposed to poultry say that the law bans all chicken coops.

Possibilities already recommended by city staff include a clear definition of the word yard to mean either any yard, or commercial yard. Currently there are no limits to how many chickens a person can have. A new ordinance could set parameters on keeping poultry.

If you are interested on commenting, contact Keith Caldwell, Assistant City Administrator/Community Services Director, City of Bishop, (760) 873-5863.


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