Editorials

Chickens Again: Commissioners still brooding the issue 2014.12.10

THE idea of back-yard chickens has flown the coop in Fayette, but in Morenci? Who knows, maybe it’s something that hasn’t yet hatched.

Morenci planning commission members haven’t given up on the idea without giving the issue ample consideration. Commissioners

have heard a large amount of opposition from

residents, but their curiosity about the issue has kept it on the table. If chickens are allowed in so many communities

across the country—a number that continues to grow—why wouldn’t it work here?

The flavor of the discussion changed markedly last week when commissioners began giving reports about conversations

with officials in communities where chickens are allowed. The sample was small, but commissioners did hear that very few problems have arisen in the years since a few

chickens moved into the communities.

It’s going well in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale, for example. With a population of 20,000, there are only 19 registered chicken owners, but there were no problems to report. In Traverse City, the idea of back-yard chickens is attractive enough to create the Coop Loop bicycle tour to look at the various chicken houses around town.

With the restrictive proposal considered in Morenci, it’s unlikely there would ever be enough coops to draw the interest of bicyclists, but one aspect of the Traverse City experience would likely be repeated here: Initial concern followed by acceptance. It’s no big deal.

We expect the story about last week’s planning commission meeting will cause opponents to flock to the January meeting to talk about odor, noise, rats, etc.—problems that apparently don’t manifest in other communities.