Missoula City Council’s Public Safety and Health committee Wednesday morning approved the urban chicken ordinance, including an amendment to require annual $15 permits, sending the contentious proposal to the Council floor for a final vote Monday evening.
The vote went 5 to 4, with Dave Strohmaier, Stacy Rye, Bob Jaffe, Heidi Kendall and Jerry Ballas all in favor.
If passed by the Council Monday, the ordinance would allow Missoulians to keep as many as six female chickens on their property, subject to certain standards and conditions (opens PDF).
The proposal was approved after Councilman Jon Wilkins proposed adding another amendment to the ordinance requiring Missoulians who want to raise chickens to receive permission from all immediate neighbors first. “I think it’s important to keep good neighbors,” he said.
But that motion failed by the same 5 to 4 vote. “I appreciate John’s effort,” Kendall said, “but I would oppose the amendment because there is no similar requirement for dogs” and other pets, which pose the same allergy problems that opponents of the chicken ordinance claim of chickens.
Leigh Radlowski of East Missoula, a proponent of urban chickens, stood and made the point that requiring the permission of neighbors and the associated paperwork and management would just create another headache. “You’re actually greatly increasing the financial obligations of the city.”
City Council will meet and vote Monday, Dec. 17 at the Council Chambers on Spruce Street at 7:00 p.m.
(Not sure what this chicken thing is all about? Click here to get up to speed.)