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Fenton Councilman Asks for Answer to Chicken Question

Les Bland is encouraging residents to come to Monday's council meeting and weigh in with their thoughts on the issue.

After seven months, it's time for Fenton to make a decision on whether to allow in the city, Councilman Les Bland said at Monday's worksession.

"It's making us look like idiots," Bland said. "I get comments on it every day. ... We need to give them an answer."

The issue went to the Fenton Planning Commission, which decided to let it die without tabling it or voting on it, said Councilman Ben Smith. Smith represents the council on the planning commission.

Smith said he'll vote against an whether it allows one chicken or 20.

"My feeling is, chickens don't belong in a city," he said.

Since the planning commission didn't look at the issue and do their jobs, it's up to council, Bland said.

Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl King agreed that the final say in the matter is with city council.

Councilman Brad Jacob said he's had a lot of people tell him they want an ordinance allowing in Fenton. Only two people have told him they don't want one.

Resident Cherie Smith said she attended the planning commission meeting when the commission discussed the chicken issue. Planning commissioners discussed it for about 25 minutes, and their concerns centered on how to enforce conditions of the ordinance if it were approved.

Once people get chickens, if their property isn't inspected annually, three chickens could become 10, Smith said. And the commission had questions on how to pay for manpower to enforce the ordinance.

"They had lots of questions," she said.

These were questions that the city attorney could have answered, Smith added.

Councilwoman Pat Lockwood said the city attorney can craft an ordinance for council to consider. If council agrees, the ordinance on chicken keeping can move forward.

The issue isn't scheduled to appear on Monday's city council meeting agenda, said City Manager Lynn Markland.

Monday's council meeting is at 7:30 p.m., at Fenton City Hall.

Bland said the has gone on long enough, and residents should attend the meetings and let officials know what they think -- whether they're for or against a chicken keeping ordinance.

Sean Rosekrans July 03, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Allow the chickens already!
michael henk July 04, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Thank you, Les Bland, for keeping this issue on the radar. You are truly a councilman for the people. Before you were elected to city council, you were always looking for ways to improve Fenton, not just in the interest of the city, but for the city's people. In this day and age, with the economy the way it is and many people struggling to make ends meet, all of city council should be supportive of an activity like keeping chickens. If the guidelines are followed, and a person has enough property to keep the distances from neighbors legal, chickens really are not offensive, noisy or smelly. Please see this through to a conclusion and you'll find out how many people you are helping out by supporting an ordinance allowing chickens.
stephanie pytlowanyj July 08, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Michael, I agree, Les Bland is a great guy and has a lot of common sense. Couple of things, I lived on a farm for about 10 years and chickens, especially roosters can be loud. Second, they can be stinky (on occasion I'd go into the chicken coop to collect eggs). Third, chicken coops have to be regularly cleaned of chicken manure, and it's a stinky, nasty job. I still am of the opinion though, if the neighbors don't care, why should anyone else. But what happens if a new neighbor moves in? That was the problem a few years back with the women that owned horses (she lived near US 23 and Owen Rd). As I recall, from articles in the TCT, due to a new neighbors complaints the horse owner was forced to get rid of them (I believe she was threatened with legal action or she was taken to court). So my question is, how is this situation any different from the women that wasn't allowed to have her horses in the city? (Again, and if I'm recalling correctly, the issue with the horses wasn't the noise, it was the odor from the manure).
Jane Webber July 08, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Let them have their chickens... and if new people are looking to move in and don't have enough common freaking sense to check out the neighborhood they are thinking of moving in to what the heck... people are soooo stupid anymore.... if there are chickens there and you don't like chickens then don't move there.... you don't sue a restaurant for serving fish because you are allergic... you just don't eat the darn fish or you don't go there.... I wish more people would THINK for themselves instead of going blindly about in life and then forcing others to conform to their wishes....
sassyme July 09, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Jane, you live in Holly, which explains your post.

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