Small-scale chicken keeping is a healthy, economic, and sustainable way to feed and enrich our families and our community. Please sign only if you are a Sioux Center resident.
- City Manager, Sioux Center City Council
To the Sioux Center City Council
Mayor Dennis Walstra
Council members Dave Krahling, Verlyn Rozeboom, Randy Vreugdenhil, Dale Den Herder, and Jamie Van Ravenswaay
We, the undersigned citizens of Sioux Center, Iowa, believe that small-scale chicken keeping is a healthy, economic, and sustainable way to feed and enrich our families and our community. Besides making great pets, hens provide us with fresh eggs and encourage local sustainable living. The ability to raise chickens offers educational opportunities for our children. Chickens serve as a natural alternative to pesticides by eating bugs and insects, including fleas and disease-spreading ticks. Chickens also eat weeds, and chicken manure serves as an excellent fertilizer for lawns and gardens. Backyard chickens provide many benefits, which is why many towns and cities across the country now permit their residents to raise backyard chickens.
We respectfully request our leaders to act now to clarify City ordinances to allow up to 6 hens (no roosters) in the backyards of residential homes, with certain restrictions as deemed necessary by the Council.
City ordinances currently require written permission from the Council to keep chickens, but they offer no information about what would be required to get that permission. Per Chapter 55 of the City Ordinances: "55.05 LIVESTOCK. It is unlawful for a person to keep livestock within the City except by written consent of the Council or except in compliance with the City’s zoning regulations." Poultry is classified as livestock in this case.
Please consider reclassifying chickens as "domestic animals" or pets, as some cities have done. (For example, Bellevue, WA, classifies up to 6 fowl as "household pets" to be regulated under current pet and nuisance laws as needed.) Alternatively, please consider writing into city ordinances a clear procedure by which backyard chicken raising will be permitted. (For example limiting the number of chickens, requiring neighbor approval, etc.).
Thank you for considering our request.
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