After a few tweaks to the recipe, chickens are back on the legislative menu in Powell.
Powell City Council in December declined to vote on legislation that would have allowed residents to keep up to nine chickens in their backyards. The panel instead sent the proposed zoning-code change back to the Powell Planning and Zoning Commission for further review.
The planning commission last week conducted a public hearing on revised legislation that would allow residents to keep up to six chickens. The updated proposal also would require residents to seek approval for a conditional-use permit from the city's board of zoning appeals before building a coop.
The push to allow backyard chickens has been led by 11-year-old city resident Maggie Carter, who said she supported the changes.
Maggie said she thinks there are easy answers to concerns previously raised by council members about chickens' potential to spread disease.
"I believe that the health and safety issues are resolved by washing hands and using good hygiene around the chickens," she said.
Language in the legislation barring residents from selling eggs or keeping roosters remains after the revision process. The proposal also requires residents who own chickens to keep coops clean and in good condition.
Planning commission members were uniformly supportive of the legislative change, but some questioned the $400 fee to apply for a permit to build a coop.
Commission member Trent Hartranft said he thinks the city should consider lowering the fee before approving the change.
"I am a little concerned about the fee," he said. "It might be a little steep."
Hartranft said he has "always been in support" of Maggie's push to bring chickens to backyards in Powell.
Commission member Shawn Boysko said he's "pretty satisfied" with the revisions to the legislation. He said the $400 fee "seems high."
After discussing the fee, the commission recommended council consider lowering it to $250 if it approves the legislation.
The proposal found little support before council referred it back to the planning commission in December.
Vice Mayor Jon Bennehoof at the time said he's not sure any number of tweaks would make the legislation palatable to council.
"I don't know that an acceptable amended ordinance will come back," he said.