Vote to consider easing restrictions on Erlanger backyard chickens postponed

Published on September 9, 2017

ERLANGER, Ky. (WKRC) – A political “game of chicken” was underway in a local city.

The issue in Erlanger is who can have chickens in their backyards.

Chickens may be good for lunch but they may or may not be good as neighbors. A lot of people fall in love with having backyard chickens without knowing all of the facts. Right now, Erlanger city codes allow chickens or other livestock but they have to be 500 feet away from the nearest next door residence. That’s pretty far.

There’s a proposal in front of city council to cut that distance to 50 feet. Erlanger resident Laura Tallent was opposed and plans to tell council to vote no.

“I just don’t think erlanger is set up for chickens. Most of the lots are probably less than a quarter of an acre. And nobody wants to be downwind fifty feet from a chicken coop on a july day,” said Tallent.

The whole chicken fight started in the fall of 2016, when a resident got a $100 fine for having chickens to close to a neighbor’s house. New city council member Jessica Fette was contacted by some pro-chicken residents (egged on, perhaps?) to ease the distance restrictions. Besides cutting the distance to 50 feet, her plan has regulations for chicken coop size, smell, and also says permission of next door neighbors would be required.

Tallent, whose family had chickens while she was growing up but on a big piece of property, was not convinced, “I don’t care what kind of chicken coop you have, the smell is going to bring in dogs and rats and raccoons and coyotes. And that could put my pet dog or the neighborhood children at risk.”

The proposed changes would allow people in Erlanger to have up to six chickens, but no roosters.

The council meeting started at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 7. The vote to change the rules was put on hold. City Council postponed the vote until March 2017.