Friday, June 7, 2013
Fowl play: Celina debates ordinance against chickens in residential neighborhoods
Last year, the town had a little problem with chickens running loose down the streets and around the downtown square.
The city of Celina has issued a survey to the public, asking residents for their input on whether it is appropriate or not to keep chickens in residential neighborhoods.
At the May City Council meeting, council members were divided on city staff’s revision to the Code of Ordinances concerning residents keeping fowl, or chickens, on their property. The existing ordinance states, “It shall be unlawful to keep more than an aggregate of six fowl per one enclosure. Only two enclosures shall be permitted per residential lot.”
The ordinance goes on to say that chickens are only permitted on residential lots one acre or larger, and only one rooster is allowed per lot. This ordinance was passed after the city ran into an issue last year with chickens running loose on streets and on the downtown Square, said Helen-Eve Liebman, director of Celina Planning and Development Services.
“People would just open up the gates and let them roam around,” she said.
City staff proposed in May to change the ordinance to say that only one enclosure of six fowl would be allowed on a residential lot, and roosters are only permitted on lots of two acres or larger. At the council meeting, a few Celina residents spoke during the public forum to support keeping backyard chickens.
“I think some of them on council felt like [fowl] should be allowed,” Liebman said. “And there are some on council who don’t feel that’s appropriate.”
In order to better understand the desire of the community on this fowl issue before making a decision, City Council is asking residents to complete a short survey, which can be found at www.celina-tx.gov. The survey, which remains open until 5 p.m. on July 16, can also be obtained at City Hall, 142 N. Ohio St., or in residential water bills in June.
The responses will be forwarded to City Council for the August meeting.
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