Beavercreek council to vote on chicken law

Proposed law stalls with a 3-3 council vote

This news organization continues to cover the backyard chicken debate in the city of Beavercreek and other communities in the Dayton region. We will provide updates on this issue as developments emerge.

The city council will vote, for a second time, on a proposed law that would allow city residents to own chickens in residential areas during the next council meeting on Sept. 12.

The backyard chicken legislation stalled with a 3-3 vote Monday.

Beavercreek City Councilman Brian Jarvis was absent from the meeting leaving the remaining members divided on the issue.

Similar legislation that would allow chickens in residential areas was initially included with proposed changes to the city zoning code, however the council voted to remove the chicken-related changes during a July 25 meeting.

The council will vote again on the ordinance at the next city council meeting scheduled for Sept. 12.

“Is there a way down the road somewhere to figure out how to allow pets of strange breeding that were not normally acceptable?” Beavercreek Mayor Bob Stone asked.

“Maybe there is, but on the other hand an ordinance that gets to anyone raising chickens just for the sake of the eggs I find to be an agricultural situation, and not something that the majority of people want in their half acre and smaller lots.”

Council members Stone, Debborah Wallace and Zach Upton voted against the proposed law. The remaining council members, Melissa Litteral, Chad Whilding and Julie Vann, voted in favor of the measure.

The law would allow single-family homeowners with lots of 15,000 square-feet or larger to own up to six chickens which would have to be kept in a pen or coop.

If city council approves the new regulations, a sunset provision included in the changes would allow the law to be effective for a year. Then the council would have to re-evaluate the law and could make changes.

Jim Reisen, a city resident who owns chickens, said he doubted a few chickens in his backyard would bother his neighbors or impact property values in the area.

“Six chickens on 15,000 square feet isn’t going to make nearly as much raucous as a few dogs on 15,000 square or cats or even pigeons,” he said.