Getting Closer

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From the most recent KCCR E-news

Chicken ordinance supporters ready for hearing

Supporters of an ordinance that would allow chickens to be raised in Pierre say they are anxious to address whatever concerns or issues are presented at tonight’s public hearing.

The Pierre Urban Chicken Reform has submitted a proposal that would allow a resident to house up to six hens on their property. The ordinance would require tightly-controlled conditions.

Pierre City Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the issue at tonight’s commission meeting and then take some type of action. Both supporters and opponents are expected to testify.

Anne Lewis of the Pierre Urban Chicken Reform says that group is ready to present its case. Lewis says a main focus will be to convince the commission and the public that raising chickens in an urban setting is nothing like raising chickens on the farm.

While optimistic about the ordinance’s chances, Lewis admits there is opposition. Even if the ordinance is rejected by the commission, Lewis expects the group to collect valuable information about what concerns and arguments the opponents may have.

Lewis says if the ordinance loses, she says the group will review the issue and then likely try again. “We are not going away,” she says.

Commissioners say they are undecided on proposal

Pierre’s city commissioners say they are all keeping an open mind on whether to support a proposed chicken ordinance.

Mayor Laurie Gill and Commissioners Jeanne Goodman, Steve Harding, Jamie Huizenga and Jim Mehlhaff all say they want to hear the testimony first at tonight’s public hearing before taking final action on the proposal.

A group wants to allow local residents to keep up to six hens on their property within the city limits. This is the first time the city has dealt with this issue.

All of the commissioners say they have received numerous contacts from both supporters and opponents of the proposal. Huizenga says everybody he has talked to has an opinion on the issue.

Harding says this issue has generated the most comments of any during his time on the commission. Goodman, who is chairperson of the Deer Management Task Force, says this issue has the same emotional reaction for many residents as the deer management issue has had.

Mehlhaff says he has questions that he needs answers to before he makes a decision.

Tonight’s hearing starts at 5:45 p.m. in the commission room of the Pierre City Hall.