Park River votes to let residents keep chickens in city limits
PARK RIVER — Chickens — or at least hens — rule the roost in Park River, where voters approved an ordinance amendment Tuesday to allow residents to keep up to eight hens.
Residents voted 265-159 in favor of the change to a decades-old law that outlawed all kinds of livestock at city residences.
Under the law change, residents may keep as many as eight hens without a license, as long as they have approval from 75 percent of the property owners within 200 feet of their coops, and comply with other rules governing the poultry, including a ban on slaughtering or butchering within city limits.
The measure was initiated last fall after complaints were filed against at least one resident who kept chickens, including a rooster, in a backyard coop. All poultry owners — reportedly about three — were informed they had to get rid of their chickens. One owner, Teresa Gire, protested, saying she regards her four hens as pets.The City Council reconsidered the ordinance and after a tie vote decided to put the issue on the ballot.