Council nixes chickens in residential districts


SIDNEY — After hearing residents’ feedback, Sidney City Council determined Monday it will not be moving forward with legislation to allow chickens to be raised in residential districts. The topic was first discussed during its previous Monday evening workshop session on June 6.

Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth brought the topic forward after Evergreen Drive resident Melissa Lozano asked council to consider allowing residents to have chickens in the city for the eggs to feed her children at a March City Council meeting. Council then directed city staff to conduct research and provide information on the keeping of chickens in residential zoning districts. The topic returned Monday for further discussion among council members after seeking community feedback.

Sidney’s zoning code currently does not allow chickens to be kept in residential districts. Dulworth pointed out Sidney’s Codified Ordinance Section 505.14 prohibits the keeping of livestock or fowl within the city limits except at the Shelby County Fairgrounds.

City staff conducted research by looking at zoning codes and codified ordinances in other Ohio communities, and also by researching public health issues and agricultural/animal husbandry organization best practices, and then Dulworth presented the findings to City Council. Dulworth outlined/broke down research findings of those cities, which included each city’s required setbacks, number of chickens allowed per lot, coop/cage requirements and whether roosters are allowed.

With findings that showed the communities which allow the keeping of chickens require larger lots, Dulworth said city staff conducted a Geographic Information System analysis to determine how many residential properties exist in Sidney that are larger than 2 acres and have dimensions which would allow for setbacks over 100 feet. Her report showed specifics to how Sidney would compare to other comparable cities and also the pros and cons of the keeping of chickens.

On June 6, the consensus of council was to listen to feedback on residents’ opinions, and share what they each heard about the possibility of allowing chickens to kept in residential districts before the issue returns for continued consideration.

After a discussion on residents’ feedback Monday, council members understood the majority of the feedback was against allowing the keeping of chickens in residential districts. Lozano attended again Monday and spoke to members about why she is in favor of the idea. After understanding the consensus of other council members on the topic, Mayor Mardie Milligan thanked Lozano and said at this time they will not be bringing forward legislation on the matter. Milligan noted it could return for further consideration at some point.

In other business during public comments at the end of the meeting, North Buckeye Avenue resident James E. King came to City Council about the nuisance of ongoing noise coming from a nearby property on North Wagner Avenue. King noted being unable even enjoy watching TV programs in the home due to the noise and has called the police about the issue, but was told there wasn’t anything they could do. King was informed, as long as the activity happens during within the allowed noise ordinance hours on their private property, nothing could be done. King also brought forth a petition with 32 signatures about the issue. City Manager Andrew Bowsher and Law Director David Busick advised they would look into the matter and review the ordinance to see if anything could be done.

In final business, council members went into an executive session to discuss the employment of a public employee. No action was taken by council members after they emerged from the executive session and went back into the regular session.

No legislation will be coming forward

By Sheryl Roadcap

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