Beavercreek makes decision on backyard chickens request

Beavercreek residents will not be allowed to keep chickens in their backyard, after a decision by city council last night. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Beavercreek residents will not be allowed to keep chickens in their backyard, after a decision by city council last night. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Other Greene County cities allow feathered birds in yards

Beavercreek residents will not be allowed to keep chickens in their backyard, after a decision by city council Monday night

A zoning amendment was brought to the city by residents who want to keep chickens in their backyards in this Greene County community. City council considered a similar zoning change in 2012 and 2016; the legislation did not move forward.

Beavercreek City Council members had concerns about the lot size residents would be keeping chickens on and also had concerns about how the city would enforce the zoning code with one code enforcement officer.

Nearly 100 residents submitted letters of support to city council. There was also a petition sent to council. About two dozen people spoke at the public comment portion of the meeting. One person spoke against the chickens, the rest were in favor.

The city said it received three letters against the chickens.

Many letters stated that allowing residents to keep chickens would let them live more sustainably and chickens would eat backyard pests. Many letters said chickens make good pets and would allow Beavercreek’s children another avenue to participate in 4H. One letter, from a child, said “I love chickens. Please allow chickens in Beavercreek.”

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The proposed zoning change stated lots less than 15,000-square-feet would not be permitted to keep chickens. Lots 15,000-square-feet or bigger would be allowed to have up to six chickens. Chicken coops would only be allowed in backyards, not in front of someone’s property.

Councilwoman Joanna Garcia said she reached out to residents and many were opposed to their neighbors keeping chickens. Garcia said she also spoke with real estate agents and they said chicken coops are often deterrents for clients looking to buy a house.

A child wrote a letter asking Beavercreek City Council to consider allowing residents to keep chickens in their backyards. CONTRIBUTED
A child wrote a letter asking Beavercreek City Council to consider allowing residents to keep chickens in their backyards. CONTRIBUTED

Other area communities are mixed when it comes to allowing backyard chickens.

Riverside turned down legislation that would permit residents who live on less than an acre and a half to keep chickens and ducks in their backyards in 2019. Residents with an acre and a half or more are allowed have chickens and ducks on their properties.

Fairborn does not permit chickens or roosters inside city limits.

Yellow Springs allows farm animals on property that is over three acres. There is no ordinance against chickens in Yellow Springs, the planning office said, however chickens are not permitted to run through the streets. The village police may enforce the Yellow Springs noise ordinance if there are complaints from neighbors about roosters.

In nearby Xenia, residents with five acres or more can keep any kind of livestock. For residents with less than five acres, Xenia city code states they can have up to four chickens, rabbits or other small livestock. This has been city code since 2016.

Xenia City Planner Brian Forschner said the city doesn’t allow roosters for people with less than five acres. Chickens must have a covered enclosure and must be fenced in or kept in the enclosure at all times. Any sort of enclosure or chicken coop must be at least 25 feet away from another house, Forschner said.

“We have a decent number of people who keep chickens,” Forschner said. “We hardly get any complaints and when we do, it is about roosters, which we don’t actually allow so we can ask people to get rid of them.”

Xenia residents don’t need a permit to keep chickens, but need a permit to build a fence or enclosure larger than 50-square-feet.