Delavan hears urban chicken proposal
DELAVAN Which came first, the chicken or the ordinance?
If you live in an urban area, the ordinance has to come first.
On Monday, the Delavan General Operations Committee heard a request for urban chickens.
Mark Abel of 325 Ray St., Delavan, made the request. He provided the committee with a copy of Stoughton's ordinance and regulations for comparison purposes.
A memo from Delavan building inspector Fred Walling explained that current ordinances do not allow keeping chickens within the city.
"The majority of the committee said they were agreeable to exploring the idea of urban chickens," said Jeff Johnson, committee member. "We've asked the staff to do a little more investigation on the issues."
About 40 percent of neighboring communities allow chickens while 60 percent do not, Walling said.
The Janesville City Council turned down a request for urban chickens in 2010. Stoughton, Lake Mills, Jefferson, Fort Atkinson and Madison allow hens—but no roosters—in residential areas.
Stewart and Linda Ellefson of Milton recently asked the Milton plan commission to consider allowing chickens within city limits.
In Stoughton, residents must have proof of registration with the Department of Agriculture. Coops and runs must be approved by the planning department, and the sale of eggs is prohibited.
"There are definitely some hoops that you jump through with the city and the state," Johnson said. "We want to make sure we have all our ducks in a row—no pun intended—before we go any further."
The earliest the committee could discuss the issue would be at its next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 1.