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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - "Valpo family may lose their backyard chickens after complaint"

Longtime ILB readers will know that the blog has been following the topic of "urban chickens" for years.

In this 2009 entry, the ILB sought the definitive answer re raising chickens in Indianapolis and received an affirmative answer, in writing, from Indianapolis City Legal.

And this March the ILB published
the new Indianapolis zoning provisions, which allow up to 12 chickens on a residential lot.

A review of the other ILB posts (here is a long list of entries) will show the many Indiana cities and towns permitting the keeping of chickens. So it was with surprise I read this recent NWI Times story by Rob Earnshaw, headed "Valpo family may lose their backyard chickens after complaint." Some quotes:

VALPARAISO — Laurel Welter, 2, enjoys holding the eggs she gets from the chickens her older sister, Grace Welter, 6, has helped raise the last three years.

But the sisters may lose their four chickens because a city ordinance does not allow for chickens unless the property owner has five or more contiguous acres. * * *

Last week the Welters received a letter from the city about the ordinance stating that if the chickens weren't removed by April 22 (Liz Welter said it's ironic, being Earth Day), they would face fines and legal action. * * *

Liz Welter said they've reached out to their councilman, Robert Cotton, who seems open to help. When contacted by The Times on Wednesday, City Administrator Bill Oeding said he developed an urban chicken file several years ago after visiting Seattle, which allows chickens and that they are popular in some neighborhoods.

Just last year neighboring Chesterton changed its ordinance to allow on smaller parcels of land a maximum of four hens, no roosters and no slaughtering.

"I don’t believe, but I don’t really know, that anyone in city government is opposed to urban chickens and I suspect there will be some more discussion about allowing them," Oeding said.

Oeding said he has asked code enforcement to not pursue the chicken issue until he has an opportunity to address it.

"Liz and her chickens can remain for now," he said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 21, 2016 03:38 PM
Posted to Indiana Government