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Chickens are coming to Edmond with new ordinance

EDMOND — Chickens will be welcome in Edmond backyards of lots that are 30,000 square feet or larger starting Saturday.

Members of Edmond Urban Chickens, a group with about 750 members, have been fighting for the birds to be allowed in Edmond since May.

City council members approved a new ordinance Monday.

Advocates wanted people living on smaller, 6,000 square feet lots, to be able to have chickens in their backyards, but the city council would not go that far.

Lainee Copeland was approached last year by code enforcement officers who said her six hens had to go or she would be fined $200 a day.

Copeland, who lives in Edmond's Chimney Hills housing addition, started her campaign to change the city ordinance where people in Edmond could have urban chickens.

Copeland couldn't hold back the tears Monday night as she repeatedly said the council's vote was unanimous, something she didn't think she might ever see.

"I am satisfied," Copeland said. "I am proud how far we have come."

She is hoping the 30,000 square foot lot requirement might be changed some day if the chickens owners follow the rules and the city council realizes the birds would be fine on a smaller lot.

"If we do it perfectly for at least a year, it might work like a pilot program," Copeland said. "I can't believe they said 'Yes.' "

No roosters are allowed in the city limits with the new ordinance.

People who have residential lots of 30,000 square feet to one acre can have no more than eight chickens.

The more land a person owns, the more chickens they can have living on their property.

A maximum of a dozen chickens are allowed on land in excess of one acre up to two acres. That increases up to 18 chickens for property in excess of two acres to three acres.

People who have more than three acres up to four acres can own up to 24 chickens.

The flock can increase up to 30 if a person has more than four acres up to five acres.

From dusk until dawn, chickens or laying hens shall be kept within the coop, the ordinance requires.

People who want to have chickens in Edmond, except on land that is zoned agriculture, will have to purchase a $25 city permit.

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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