Byron considers chickens in the city - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Byron considers chickens in the city

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BYRON, Minn. (KTTC) -- Byron is the latest city considering letting residents raise chickens in their backyards.

Monday night, Byron's Planning and Zoning Commission met to discuss a possible chicken ordinance.

This comes after Joanne and Dale Lipke acquired three chickens in early May.

Joanne says she didn't realize Byron didn't have a chicken ordinance.

"I thought Rochester had one, and Olmsted County, and so I guess I just didn't see it clear that we didn't have one," Joanne said.

Kirk Payne ran into the same problem back in 1989 when he first moved to Rochester.

"I had an interest in doing things that would help my own kids grow up with a stronger connection to the natural world," Payne said.

He helped establish Rochester's chicken ordinance in 1991.

It allows 3 hens but no roosters (due to the noise roosters can make early in the morning).

Payne has one rooster but he lives outside the city limits.

The coop must be at least 25 feet away from another residence.

It requires a permit that cost $20 and lasts two years.

"A number of communities in Minnesota and other states, in I think especially the last 5 to 10 years, revisiting animal ordinances and trying to modernize them," Payne said.

Also, backyard chickens have become more popular.

Rochester issued 38 licenses in 2012 compared to 3 in 2010.

"There is no comparison between a regular egg you buy in a store and one you get fresh from a farm," Joanne said.

However, Byron's Planning and Zoning Commission will have to address some of the issues that come with allowing chickens.

"Worried about fumes, odors, also worried about the disposal of the chickens. So there are some concerns we'll have to build in," said Brian Eckre, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

However, Payne says with only three chickens, odor is minimum.

Rushford recently passed a chicken ordinance.

Byron is using it as a model.

Any Byron residents who have concerns can attend a public hearing which could happen as early as August.

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