By: Benjamin J. Gohs, Associate Editor
The Boyne City Planning Commission recently agreed overwhelmingly have a draft ordinance allowing chickens to be kept within the city limits.
The planning commission came to the decision during its recent Dec. 19, regular meeting, following discussion the pros and cons of allowing citizens to possess a minimal number of chickens on their property, and after hearing comments from several members of the public.
“This is becoming an issue that lots of municipalities are discussing,” said Boyne City Planning Director Scott McPherson. “There is a desire for folks to know where their food comes from and having a chicken for their eggs and meat meets that desire for them.”
McPherson said some issues which could arise if chickens are allowed to be kept in the city include noise and odor.
“The key is owners need to be very meticulous in care of the chickens just like any animal needs to be taken care of in a responsible way,” McPherson said.
Cherry Street resident Sandy Hill, who originally brought this issue before the planning commission, said she has had several chickens on her property for the last three years.
“Since I’ve studied them and had them they are really interesting pets. They’re fun to watch. It’s soothing to hear them just kind of cluck away and they tend to have personalities even,” she said. “I’ve had them for three years … and I have not had an issue with any of the neighbors.”
Hill added, “They’re not noisy like dogs … and they’re certainly not going to hurt anybody.”
Hill said the chickens have kept the bug population in her yard in check.
“I enjoy having the fresh eggs and I enjoy sharing them with people,” she said. “I would never kill one of my chickens and eat it.”
Hill added, “I do think the number of chickens should be regulated.”
Hill said she would like to see the chickens be able to roam in her yard.
Hill keeps her chickens in a caged in area with a coop or chicken house.
Hill said what little waste the chickens produce is great food for gardens.
One other member of the public said his family has several chickens and he was unaware they were not allowed within the city limits.