Restrictions were loosened last night on Bloomington’s urban chicken ordinance. Neighbors will no longer be able to veto a chicken permit, and the slaughter of the birds will be permissible within city limits.
When the Bloomington city council voted five years ago to allow chicken farming within city limits, they wrote several restrictions into the law as a way to gauge residents’ reaction to the introduction of urban fowl.
Residents first were required to obtain permission from their neighbors to keep chickens, and the birds could only be kept as egg layers. Killing of the birds was prohibited.
Bloomington resident Jami Scholl spoke in favor of the looser laws, and is looking forward to starting a flock of her own soon.
“My kids can have 4-H chickens,” she says, “we can have eggs, and we can even have some chicken noodle soup when we’re sick.”
Council member Chris Sturbaum, who abstained from voting on the measure, says he is in favor of urban chicken farming, but worries some residents may have some concerns with the new legislation.
“There are a few issues that could come up,” he says. “ I mean, butchering chickens in your backyard is the one issue some people might object to.”
Some Councilors, such as Andy Ruff, noted the holistic advantages to raising chickens from start to finish. He says the butchering of an animal for food can have a profound impact on a person. He notes that someone may have a better understanding of where their food comes from after participating in such an activity.
Restrictions still in place will require residents to obtain a permit from the city to raise chickens, while many neighborhood ordinances prohibit the birds outright.
The permit can only be obtained by a property owner, so renters will be unable to keep chickens without their landlord’s specific involvement.