Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Flower Mound council loosens chicken farming regulations
Residents living on less than one acre are now permitted to have up to four chickens.
FLOWER MOUND The Flower Mound Town Council on Monday voted, 3-2, to amend an ordinance that will allow residents to have poultry, including chickens, on lots of less than one acre.
Specifically, the new ordinance will allow residents on less than one acre to have a maximum of four chickens. The chicken enclosure must be located no closer than 10 feet from the property line.
The amendment also specifically outlines the regulations for roosters. Roosters will be allowed on property of one acre or greater. That was the previous regulation, but roosters had been grouped with fowl in its ordinance, and this amendment is aimed to further clarify rules on roosters.
Council members Mark Wise, Steve Dixon, and Bryan Webb voted for the motion. Council members Kendra Stephenson and Jean Levenick voted against the motion, but not because they were against chickens in residential lots.
The council discussed what type of enclosure the chickens must be in. The council agreed that further discussion on those specifics was needed, but Wise, Dixon, and Webb were comfortable voting on the motion Monday and coming back to address the coop later.
"I wouldn't want to hold this up to make regulations on how to build a coop," Dixon said.
Stephenson and Levenick said tabling the item until the Oct. 1 meeting might be best.
"I'm not sure I want to open up the ordinance in a month just to fix what we did tonight," Stephenson said.
But all council members agreed that guidelines on a coop are needed. The previous ordinance required an enclosure but didn't specify what it includes.
One resident urged the coop be addressed and that it includes a roof.
"We still have wildlife in Flower Mound," said resident Marilyn Jenkins. "Wildlife feeds on poultry. I think there should be a requirement for coups to prevent wildlife poaching of poultry."
In terms of the number of chickens, the proposed ordinance called for three. But residents urged the council to increase it to four.
"You need more than three chickens if you want a steady egg production," said resident Pam Glenn. "Also, chickens take two to three years to be productive. If you get new chickens, it takes a while for them to get intregated into the flock."
Resident Mark Glover said more than three was desired because chickens run in flocks and protect each other.
Nine residents spoke in favor of the ordinance change, and no one spoke against it. Some council members asked about possible noise or odor problems, but animal services manager Christine Hastings said other town ordinances would cover those.
Glover said residents wishing to learn more about chickens and how to get started with their flock can attend a workshop at 10 a.m. September 29 at Home Depot during the town's environmental fair.
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