Chicken ordinance passes on first reading

Hannah Gross, NLJ Correspondent

Newcastle is one step closer to adopting a backyard chicken ordinance — a proposal that has been months in the making — when the City Council approved the ordinance on first reading at its Nov. 7 meeting. 

Before the meeting, the Newcastle Planning Commission board reviewed the ordinance and made revisions to the original regulations. City Attorney Dublin Hughes presented these recommendations, which included lowering the $100 fine per violation per day to $20 per violation, accompanied by an additional  $3 fee for each day that a chicken is impounded. The Planning Commission also suggested removing the word “privacy” from the stipulation for a 6-foot fence but recommended that the ordinance require signatures of approval from adjacent property owners before chickens would be allowed to take up residence. 

Councilman Ty Owens said a number of constituents told him they were against the signature requirements, so he
suggested striking that language from the ordinance. However, Councilman Don Steveson argued that signatures were required in the past when city residents were allowed to have chickens. 

After some discussion, Owens moved that the council accept the ordinance without the signature requirement, and the motion to approve the amended draft was seconded by Councilman Lance Miles. The motion carried. 

Before the ordinance goes into effect, it must pass two more readings. The council meets the first and third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the council’s chambers.

To see the entire discussion, view the Nov. 7 meeting on the NLJ’s Youtube channel.

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