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Proposed chicken ordinance advances to City Council

An ordinance that would regulate the keeping of chickens in the city of Hudson advanced out of the Public Safety Committee at its meeting Thursday, Oct. 10.

Permits would be granted to up to 15 residents, with the number of chickens limited to five each. Only hens would be allowed.

The committee approved minor changes to the proposed ordinance that was drafted by City Attorney Catherine Munkittrick, Community Development Director Dennis Darnold and Compliance Officer Dave Krupich.

Heather Mathews and Jen Hariot, leaders of a group called Hudson Urban Chickens, requested the changes.

The committee agreed to increase the size of fenced run areas from 40 square feet to 50 square feet, and to allow coops to be up to 8 feet in height. The previous language limited the height to 6 feet, 6 inches.

The committee stopped short of allowing chickens to run loose inside fenced-in yards as long as the owner was watching them. The committee also balked at reducing the 10-foot setback from property lines, as long as the coop wasn’t within 30 feet of a neighbor’s building.

Committee member John Hoggatt appeared sympathetic to the requests, but Rich Vanselow sided with committee chair Mary Yacoub in denying them.

Yacoub said she wanted the permit fee set at $50, with a $20 annual renewal fee. The committee went along with her recommendation.

Darnold had suggested a $35 first-time fee, and $7 for renewals.

The City Council will now consider adopting the proposed ordinance.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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