COLUMBIA — The City Council reviewed a plan Monday night that will enable Columbia residents to own chickens for personal use.
The plan is designed to minimize impact on neighbors by specifying the number of chickens permitted and setting a minimum distance for pens away from nearby property.
The council will hold a work session to discuss changes to the plan before the measure is officially introduced at the second meeting in January 2010.
The plan places a limit of six hens per tract of land, with no roosters allowed. A pen could be placed no closer than 10 feet from a property line. From a nearby house, the distance would be 25 feet.
Complaints about odor, noise and waste disposal would be investigated by animal control officers.
Stephanie Browning, director of Columbia-Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, said she researched more than 50 similar ordinances in the country before drafting the plan.
“I’m not opposed to this," Browning said. "I think there are real benefits to having locally grown food.”
“I do worry about what door this opens next. It’s one thing to have chickens, but soon someone will want goats, and it will be one thing after another.”