Friday, September 2, 2016

GOING BACK IN TIME: "2011, Council approves Chicken Code"

This is an interesting 2011 report about the process the city went through in passing the "Backyard Chicken" ordinance. The current, approved Chicken ordinance is detailed here.  

Redmond City Council approves backyard chicken code

NOVEMBER 9, 2011:  Council approves Animal Husbandry (backyard chicken) code 6-2 (Carson and Cole voting NO).  A noted requirement is covenants will be honored and supersede the animal husbandry code.

Redmond City Council held a final study session November 7 on "Small Animal Husbandry" - commonly known as "Backyard chickens."  Their normal Tuesday meeting was cancelled for the Election.  Council plans to adopt  "Backyard chicken policy and code" on December 6, without any further study sessions.

After thorough discussion, Council consented to Chicken regulations.  The ordinance is expected to include the following code:
  • Mandatory registration.  (Permits, subject to land use requirements, are not required.
  • Maximum allowable chickens decided by Residential zoning only.  Lot size is irrelevant.
  • One Acre (R-1) and 1/2 acre (R-2) lots are allowed a maximum of 10 chickens (hens only).
  • R-4 and R-5 lots are the most common SFH lots in Redmond.  (4-5 lots/acre).  R-4 lots allowed a  maximum of 4 hens, R-5 allowed a maximum of 3 hens.  R-6 maximum 3 hen
  • In R-8 lots chickens won't be allowed.
  • Setbacks:  15' setbacks for adjacent property required with exceptions.
  • Slaughter:  May slaughter 1 chicken per day on site.  More than 1 chicken must be slaughtered off-property in a slaughterhouse, farm, non-residential area. 
  • Predators:  sturdy coop required
  • City Small Animal Husbandry Code will not supersede Homeowners Associations (HOA). 
  • No roosters
Councilmember Kim Allen was the proponent.  She ran the meeting and drove consensus.  Councilmember Hank Margeson had experience in Tacoma with backyard hens in his youth and was considered a council 'expert.'  Hank suggested "no more than a handful of chickens," except for 1/2 acre lots.  He said "chickens should only supplement food, not feed a family of four year-round."  Councilmember Carson has two dogs and his wife was in real estate; he was against backyard chickens.  Councilmember Hank Myers suggested keeping the rules simple saying too many regulations will keep people from participating.  Margeson owns a horse and raised 3 hens as a kid living in Tacoma.  Mayor Marchione was present and quiet throughout the discussion.

Cole, Stilin, and Vache were openly concerned about chicken owners who mistreat or miss-manage their poultry.  Code enforcement was their big issue.  Apparently, the history of chicken neglect and nuisance in other cities is very low.  Cole ended the discussion stating he won't endorse backyard chickens on the basis of:  smell, noise, real estate, disease, predators, potential for harm to the animals.  His property is governed by HOA rules.
Margeson referred to Sustainable Redmond for their help in getting the word out and educating Redmond citizenry.

Reported By Bob Yoder

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