GOSHEN — The Goshen City Council is reconsidering a contentious ordinance to allow people to own chickens in city limits.
Councilman Jeremy Stutsman revived the conversation Tuesday night, April 1, after a proposed ordinance to allow city residents to have up to six hens failed in March. Stutsman voted against the ordinance at the council’s last meeting and said Tuesday that his major concern with allowing chickens in city limits was how it would affect nearby property owners. But, he said, there may be a solution — making it a pilot program.
Council members voted Tuesday to revisit the ordinance in a couple of weeks. They added amendments that, if passed, would allow the city to issue up to 50 permits for urban chickens over a two-year trial period. Anyone seeking a permit would be required to collect signatures from adjoining property owners and pay a $25 registration fee every two years.
“This particular thing certainly has people in Goshen talking more than anything since I’ve been on the council,” council member Dixie Robinson said.
Goshen resident John Nafziger said a Facebook page he created to support urban chickens called Hens for Goshen has 215 followers. All support the idea of having chickens in city limits, but not everyone would apply to secure a permit, he told the city council.
The city council tabled further discussion of the ordinance until the board’s April 15 meeting to allow the public time to comment.
Follow Elkhart Truth reporter Angelle Barbazon on Twitter at @tweetangelle.