HB commish poised to approve chickens

Holmes Beach appears ready to allow chickens into the city.

        An ordinance to allow residents to raise egg-laying hens within the city’s limits is on the March 12 commission agenda for final approval.

        A 4-1 vote last month approved the new rule on chickens on first reading.

        Commissioners in favor of the measure say it will encourage learning opportunities for children and return people to a natural food source.

        At press time before the March 12 meeting, Commissioner Pat Morton was against approving chickens, saying he foresaw a future enforcement problem in the beach community.

        The city has a long-standing regulation prohibiting farm animals.

         If passed, the ordinance will prohibit more than four hens and roosters; slaughtering of chickens, and any selling of eggs or other chicken products; chickens in front yards; chickens closer than 10 feet to an adjacent property and 25 feet from a neighboring home; and odors and pest-infested chicken feed.

        Other matters on the March 12 agenda included:

        • First reading of a party-wall ordinance, changing the code to eliminate the provision that allows two or more structures to be built separately on a common foundation.

        • First reading of a one-dock-per-shore-frontage ordinance, including dock location and setback requirements and how shoreline length is determined under condominium ownership.

        • Consideration of two appointments to the Municipal Police Officers’ Pension Trust Fund Board of Trustees.

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