Chickens given reprieve by Planning Commission

After wrangling with the idea of chickens permitted in a residential zone the Chesterfield Planning Commission is ready to ask the public what they think.

A public hearing will be held on Oct. 15 to get input on whether or not to allow four hens (no roosters) in backyards across Chesterfield.

The chicken coops would have to follow the same ordinance as a shed – backyard only. In addition the coop would have to be located at least 25 feet from any property line.

Jane Peterson, a planning manager, who presented the specifics of  what  was recommended to the Planning Commission by Board Chairman Dorothy Jaeckle in July. Peterson told the Planning Commission that in addition to a recommending no fee for keeping chickens, it would be illegal to slaughter the birds.

Chairman Jaeckle asked, during a July Board of Supervisors meeting, for staff to prepare an ordinance, which would then be reviewed by the Planning Commission no later than November. That would be two months earlier than the Board had requested.

Planning Commissioner Dale Patton, the Bermuda representative asked about rabbits. He said, “You’ll find a lot more rabbits in backyards in Chesterfield than chickens.”

Rabbits are also illegal to keep in Chesterfield.

The recommendation passed the Planning Commission and will now move to the Board of Supervisors for their review and vote.

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