In re Chicken Ordinances

KRIV, via Isiah Carey, reports on continued developments to repeal an ordinance from the 1940s that bans chicken co-ops on closely neighbored property. The report follows the efforts of a lobbying group, known as “Hens for Houston,” that seeks the repeal of the pertinent ordinance.

Carey ends the segment by noting the push to change the minds of City Councilmembers. “So far they’re giving mixed reactions, to possibility, to some saying ‘no way,'” Carey states without actually noting which City Councilmembers are leaning which way.

There was a good article in the Houston Chronicle a couple of years back, that paints a much more mixed picture. In the article, the Chronicle describes the issue being old fashioned folks in the rural parts of the City, whereas the Isiah Carey report focuses on more new-age, hippie types who seek to grow their own food. In fact, the Chronicle even notes another Chicken related ordinance, that which limits the amount of Chickens a single homeowner may own to THIRTY. That regulation was not mentioned in Carey’s report.

The Chronicle had another article in the past few days on the topic, but it was a Lifestyle article that mainly focused on the individual farmers, not their efforts to change pertinent ordinances.

KTRK also covered this issue in January. At that point, the lobby group (Hens for Houston)  noted the comparison to other cities. According to a representative of the lobby group, San Antonio has no similar ordinance, and Dallas has a somewhat impotent one. Also, from Carey’s report, it is apparently obvious that the City of Bellaire has no equivalent regulation.

The KTRK report, published in January, noted that “The city is expected to come out with a revamped ordinance for chickens within Houston city limits.” That was nearly eight months ago.

For what it is worth, I think the regulations should be scaled-down. Increases in technology have caused hen raising to become a much more feasible venture, so antiquated ordinances must be looked at again. This was not the first time this year a primordial ordinance‘s repeal was discussed. Perhaps it is time for a massive overhaul of these ordinances from long ago.

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