Visalia looking at allowing chickens in residential zones

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Some South Valley residents are hoping their city will soon make an ordinance change allowing them to get cheaper, fresher eggs. (KFSN)

Some South Valley residents are hoping their city will soon make an ordinance change allowing them to get cheaper, fresher eggs. The city of Visalia is looking at allowing chickens in residential zones.

The City Council asked city staff this week to start writing an ordinance change. The ordinance would allow four chickens for a home and no roosters. But people can't start buying their chicks until there's a final vote by the City Council.

You don't just find chickens in the country anymore. There's a new trend bringing these ladies into the city.

"We loved them. They're real easy to take care of," said Christine Wood.

Wood used to live in the county, and she had chickens. But now she and her family live in the city of Visalia, and the chickens are missed.

"They got tired of it after a while because they'd be like, 'OK, whose turn is it to feed the chickens? I don't want to feed the chickens,'" she said.

Well, at least Wood misses the chickens.

"Just kind of cool to be able to go outside every day and get your own eggs," she said.

Lucky for her, maybe not for the kids, the Visalia City Council is looking to make a change.

"They're not loud. Dogs are much more annoying than chickens are," said Wood.

Right now, city staff is working to draft an ordinance change. It would allow people to have four chickens but no roosters.

"The council's intent was to allow people to raise chickens but to make sure that there weren't nuisance effects on neighbors," said Paul Scheibel with the city of Visalia.

Scheibel says we're still about 60 to 90 days away from allowing hens, but the people Wood has talked to are thrilled it's even a possibility.

"I was surprised at how many people were like, 'Oh my gosh! I've been wanting chickens. This is so awesome. Yeah, I'm excited about this,'" said Wood.

So it seems it's just a matter of time before farm-fresh eggs come a little closer to home.

The City Council will be holding a public hearing on this ordinance coming up in May. The council will then discuss and possibly make changes to the ordinance before making a final vote.

Related Topics:
politicsanimalanimal newstulare countyVisalia
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