Mayor Bill Finch on Tuesday released details of a proposed ordinance allowing residents to raise as many as six chickens in backyard coops. A chicken in every pot? How about chickens in every yard? No roosters allowed. Sleep well! No capons? A link to the proposed chicken ordinance is here.
The City Council’s Ordinance Committee debated the proposal Tuesday night before tabling it.
A few members tossed some eggs of their own at Finch’s proposal.
“I think we’re asking for more trouble,” said Councilwoman AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia, D-134, after Blunt admitted to the group that he has limited staff. “We have all these other ordinances we can’t enforce.”
CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart has more here.
News release from the mayor:
“We talk about the importance of providing residents with fresh and healthy food options through our farmer’s markets and community gardens,” said Mayor Finch. “This idea fits perfectly into that concept of working towards a green community that is self sustainable.”
The proposed law will be heard tonight by the City Council Ordinance Committee. If approved, a public hearing will be held before it goes to final vote before the full Council.
The ordinance amendment was proposed by the Health Department to create more structure and clearer regulations than provided by the current ordinance.
Here are the highlights:
· People seeking to raise a small poultry flock would be required to secure a permit from the Department of Health after submitting a plot plan for the coop.
· A maximum of six chickens would be permitted. No roosters will be allowed.
· In a rental property, the person seeking to raise chickens would need written consent from the landlord and any other tenants.
· The chickens can only be raised as pets and for eggs for personal use and not for any commercial purposes.
· Anyone seeking a permit must complete a free city-sponsored seminar about how to properly and safely raise a small flock of chickens.
According to Warren Blunt, of the Health Department, the idea behind the ordinance is to ensure people raising chickens do it in a responsible and safe way. The Health Department researched regulations in other cities, such as New Haven and New York City, and decided that a maximum of six chickens was the appropriate number for a manageable flock.
The reality, said Councilman Richard Paoletto, is there already are unsanctioned backyard coops in the city. The ordinance is meant to ensure any current and future coops are well kept and cleaned regularly and not create quality-of-life concerns for neighbors.
“People need to act responsibly,” Mayor Finch said. “At the same time, I can’t imagine anything better than people walking out their back door at the crack of dawn and bringing in a half dozen fresh eggs to feed their family breakfast.
The first training session will be held on April 10, 2014, at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.
The instructor will be Dr. Michael Darre, probably the preeminent chicken expert in Connecticut who works at the University of Connecticut’s College of Agriculture.