Chickens Come Home to Roost in West Bend

I know, I know… on the headline… groan. I couldn’t help myself. In any case, the West Bend Common Council will be taking up changes to the chicken ordinance tomorrow. The Washington County Insider has the details:

Jan. 6, 2019 – West Bend, WI – Here we go again. Monday night, Jan. 7 the West Bend Common Council will address the chicken issue as aldermen vote on changes to the ordinance and whether to finally allow chickens in the community.

The issue was tabled at the Dec. 17, 2018 meeting. Aldermen had some questions and there was extensive discussion. Click HERE to read more and watch the meeting video.

Changes were made to the proposed ordinance (see below) or click HERE for item 8. Monday, another vote will be taken on the issue.

The changes would essentially allow city residents to keep up to four hens (no roosters) in a coop on their property after getting a permit from the city. The City would notify neighbors of the permit request – presumably to give them the opportunity to protest against the permit if they want.

For the life of me, I have no idea why people get so exercised by chickens. This seems to be have been a rolling controversy in community after community as some city residents want to grow their own food. Chickens are just a step beyond having your own vegetable garden. But controversial it is…

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t care if people want chickens. It is their property and they can do what they want with it as long as it does not interfere with someone else’s property rights. We already have nuisance laws, so the need to license and regulate chicken coops seems idiotic and a waste of taxpayer money to me. There will only be a handful of people who actually try to raise chickens (I’m sure several will try, realize what a pain it is, and quit shortly thereafter). If it becomes a problem, then deal with the individuals accordingly.