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A Sarasota woman keeps six chickens in her backyard as pets and egg producers. She wishes to remain anonymous, because the chickens are not legal. The woman said her neighbors don't mind her pets, because they make little noise.
Sarasota Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010 11 years ago

Chicken-keepers crack city code

by: Robin Roy City Editor

Believing they’re great educational tools, food sources and pets, supporters are urging the city to allow them to legally keep chickens in their yards.

A group called CLUCK, Citizens Lobbying for Urban Chicken Keeping, has been pushing City Hall to change city code to legalize raising chickens within the city limits.

City staff is supporting the move.

“I think we’ve satisfied a lot of concerns by adding restraints,” said Jono Miller, an environmentalist and member of CLUCK.

Those restraints include:

• A limit of four to six chickens per yard.

• Chickens can be kept only in the backyard.

• No roosters allowed.

• No slaughtering.

• Chickens will be permanently caged or fenced.

• Chickens are only allowed at single-family homes.

Miller said the benefits of keeping chickens are many. The chickens can be kept as pets; they can be a more humane and less expensive source of eggs; and children learn from where food comes.

Mike Taylor, the city’s general manager of planning and development, said, at first, City Hall was concerned about the proposal, because it would affect residential areas, but after some investigation, he believed it wouldn’t be a problem for most residents.

“If you look at it objectively, I think the public will find it’s not going to be a big deal,” Taylor said.

Taylor said a couple of decades ago, the city went through a similar situation in which rabbit-keeping was legalized, and he hasn’t heard any complaints about that practice.

If You Go

The Planning Board will hear arguments about the practice of urban chicken keeping at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29, at City Hall, 1565 First St., Sarasota.

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected]



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