The Bishop chicken controversy took a step toward resolution Monday night as the City Council asked staff to write up an ordinance that could possibly allow people to have six chickens in backyard coops.
Assistant City Administrator/Community Services Director Keith Caldwell reports that the council directed staff to draft an ordinance that would allow chickens with certain restrictions, though how this proposed ordinance would become law remains an open question.
Caldwell explained that city staff has been tasked to write up a possible ordinance that would allow people to legally keep up to six chickens or six rabbits in their yards. The resident could not have roosters, which are said to be too noisy for in-town locations. The coop would have to be 25 feet from the nearest dwelling and located in a back yard rather than a front yard. Keeping chickens in apartment and condo complexes would also not be allowed.
Once the proposed ordinance is written, it will come back to the council for a public hearing. The council will be able to vote on the ordinance or decide to put it to the voters on a ballot.
If the issue did go to a vote, it appears that the chicken coop supporters might have a slight edge. Bishop City Staff had asked residents their opinion on the matter. Caldwell reports that 20 respondents supported allowing backyard chickens while 15 respondents were against.