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Advocates give input on having backyard chickens in Edmond

EDMOND — Advocates of chickens in Edmond backyards met with city council members Monday to discuss a draft of a proposed law that would allow the poultry on single family lots.

More than 40 supporters, many belonging to an organized group called Edmond Urban Chickens, showed up with signs and wearing matching green T-shirts in hopes of persuading the five-member council backyard chickens are needed in Edmond.

The law now only allows chickens on property that is zoned agricultural.

City staff has been working with the proponents since May after Lainee Copeland, who lives in Edmond's Chimney Hills housing addition, was approached by a code enforcement officer who said her six hens would have to go or she would be fined $200 a day.

City Attorney Steve Murdock said the draft ordinance comes from the Norman law and input from the supporters.

Mayor Charles Lamb told the proponents they would consider their input and come up with an ordinance for the council members to consider.

Advocate Bethany Hutton said council members should consider 4 square feet of run space and 18 inches of roost space per bird.

Lamb was interested in her suggestion and said there would be additional public hearing in the future before a decision is made.

Most of the advocates who spoke at the meeting called the chickens their pets and said the council should consider a chicken just like they would a dog or cat.

"I treat chickens as pets," said Julian Glendinning, 12. "I see the chickens as kind like a baby brother, I guess."

Advocates spoke in favor of the draft ordinance.

"We love the ordinance," Copeland said. "We want an ordinance that is for everyone."

The advocates said people need to be educated about the smell, the noise and care of chickens.

Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›

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