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.
WVC is considering allowing yard hens
City Council » Proposed ordinance would classify female chickens as household pets.
First Published Mar 23 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Mar 23 2014 09:48 am

West Valley City » Residents here could start hearing the clucking of hens in their neighborhoods if a proposed ordinance classifying female chickens as pets is approved.

The West Valley City Council is considering permitting backyard hens in residential areas, a proposal that divides neighbors between those who love fresh eggs and the feeling of rural living and those who hate the noise and smells from the suburban chickens. Currently, chickens are allowed only in agricultural areas in Utah’s second-largest city.

At a glance

What’s next

West Valley City is considering an ordinance that would allow backyard chickens in residential areas. A public hearing on the proposal will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 3600 S. Constitution Blvd. (2700 West).

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

A public hearing on the ordinance — which would define female chickens as "household pets" and allow a household to have up to four of them — will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 3600 S. Constitution Blvd. (2700 West).

The Planning Commission voted 5-2 last month against the proposal, and city staffers also are recommending the council continue to ban the fowl from residential neighborhoods. Their objections center on the noise and smells generated by chickens and the fact that rodents are attracted by their feed.

In addition, West Valley animal control officers already receive about 15 to 20 calls a week complaining about clucking and odor or alleging that a resident is running an egg-selling business in a non-commercial zone, according to a city report.

Layne Morris, director of West Valley’s Community Preservation Department, said chickens "are literally everywhere" in the city. He said they are difficult to keep in a residential area.

It is possible to have a few chickens without being a nuisance to neighbors, Morris said, but added, "That seldom happens."

Proponents of suburban chickens, though, say dogs and other pets can cause just as many problems and that noise is not a concern because roosters would not be allowed under the proposal.

A West Valley resident who has kept chickens in her backyard said hens make very little noise and do not smell bad if their pens are kept clean. Other animals can be more of a nuisance, she said.

"Cats are roaming the neighborhood and dogs bark all the time," said the resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity. She said backyard chickens produce eggs that are healthier than store-bought eggs and manure that helps a garden grow. In addition, chickens are good pets for kids, she said.

story continues below
story continues below

"If your chickens are not bothering your neighbors," she said, "your neighbors won’t care."


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
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.