Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) The West Valley City Council on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, voted to allow chickens in residential areas.
West Valley City OKs urban chickens
Ordinance » Hens are now classified as household pets.
First Published Apr 15 2014 09:46 pm • Last Updated Apr 16 2014 10:54 am

West Valley City • The City Council on Tuesday approved an ordinance that defines female chickens as "household pets," a designation that allows hens in residential neighborhoods.

Until now, chickens were permitted only in agricultural areas in Utah’s second-largest city. The ordinance permits each household to have a total of four pets; for example, a resident could have two dogs and two chickens, or one cat and three chickens. Roosters are still banned.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

West Valley City Council members, who voted 4-3 to OK the measure, had heard sharply divided public comment on the issue at previous meetings. Supporters of suburban fowl said the chickens provide healthier eggs and the feeling of rural living, while opponents complained about the odor and noise from the animals.

At a March 25 hearing, resident Pete Trebesch urged a no vote because of the smell from chickens. He again objected to the ordinance on Tuesday and said if the measure were passed, council members should require the coops to be built within 2 feet of the owner’s home.

They didn’t. Councilman Lars Nordfelt, who voted in favor of backyard fowl, said hen houses no longer are like "the big smelly coops" many people remember from their youth.

Other council members voting in favor of the ordinance were Steve Buhler, Tom Huynh and Karen Lang.

Mayor Ron Bigelow and council members Corey Rushton and Steve Vincent voted no.

Bigelow said he was in favor of allowing residential chickens but thought the ordinance needed to include ways to deal with situations where hens get into neighbors’ yards or the animals’ waste causes a problem for the surrounding area.

Vincent wanted a separate ordinance to address issues such as requirements for housing chickens.

"I’m not anti-chicken," he said. "I believe we can do a better job for our residents."


story continues below
story continues below

The West Valley City Planning Commission voted 5-2 in February against the proposed ordinance and city staff recommended that the ban on backyard chickens continue because of the noise and smells generated by the fowl and the fact that rodents are attracted by their feed.

pmanson@sltrib.com

Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.