Sunday, February 5, 2012

Creve Coeur, MO

The City Council on Jan. 9 approved an ordinance law allowing backyard chickens to be kept in the city. The ordinance passed unanimously.
Chickens had been allowed in the city until about three years ago, City Administrator Mark Perkins said.
"As part of a general ordinance update, however, they were removed from the city codes in 2009," he said. "But we got a couple inquiries from residents over the last several months about keeping them, so the council looked at the issue again and decided it would be appropriate to allow hens."
Dr. Mike Finkel, a veterinarian with the Village Animal Clinic in Town & Country, has kept five hens, of various breeds, for four years at his home. He was grandfathered in after the city's 2009 law was passed.
"Originally, I got my chickens for the eggs, but I really enjoy the animals, which are friendly and even come when you call them, so they're really pets," he said. "Even if they weren't laying, I'd still have them."
The eggs are very healthy, he said, 'substantially different than store-bought eggs, overall more superior."
"I just think the change is reasonable, returning the law to what it was previously," Finkel said. "While I wouldn't use the term discrimination, I do think treating one kind of pet differently doesn't make any sense to me."
The new city law contains several stipulations for chicken owners:
• No roosters are allowed.
• Hens must be enclosed in a coop or other enclosure kept in good repair and not exceeding 12 feet in height or 100 feet in gross floor area.
• Coops or other enclosures must be at least ten feet from the house, can only be located in the rear yard, and must be set back at least five feet from the rear lot line.
• The birds can only be kept on school or single-family residential lots.
• Hens are banned on lots less than 7,500 square feet.
• Up to eight hens are allowed on lots 7,500 square feet or greater. An additional hen is allowed for each 2,500 square feet of additional lot size to a maximum of 12 hens.
• Chickens must be kept clean to prevent the spread of noxious odors or disease. Dead hens must be disposed of either through burial or incineration.
However, certain subdivisions may place additional restrictions on such birds and may even prohibit chickens within their subdivisions entirely, officials said.
The subdivision trustees would decide on any restrictions or outright ban.
Residents must abide by the more restrictive of the city law or the subdivision regulation, officials said.

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