Beginning Oct. 1 Anniston residents can legally own and raise domesticated chickens in order to harvest their eggs.
The Anniston City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to amend an ordinance to allow hens inside the city limits.
It’s a female-only club, the council emphasized — no roosters allowed.
The council discussed the matter during a work session prior to the formal meeting. Councilwoman Millie Harris said she had been contacted by residents in Ward 3 requesting permission to raise their own hens. Harris said that just one hen can produce 250 eggs per year.
“As the cost of food keeps rising this is a progressive act to help individuals maintain sustainability,” Harris said.
Harris said cities such as Huntsville, Mobile, Auburn, Montgomery and Birmingham have ordinances that allow the practice.
“But they do not allow roosters because roosters make noise and the people that asked for this had complete input into this,” she said.
“But I believe it’s a good thing to do what we can to help people become sustainable,” she said.
A permit will be required to raise chickens and the city’s code enforcement division has the right to revoke a permit, said Harris.
During the meeting Anniston Mayor Jack Draper read the ordinance before the council voted on it.
Draper said that any person desiring a permit shall submit an application to the building and safety division provided by the city with such plans, drawings, photographs to verify compliance with the ordinance.
The cost of the permit will be decided at a later date, the mayor said.
The ordinance includes:
— The lot or parcel where the chickens are kept must contain a single-family dwelling and the person granted the permit must reside in that dwelling.
— A person may keep up to six chickens at any permitted location. A person may keep one additional chicken for each 2,000 square feet that the permitted location exceeds 10,000 square feet. There is a limit of 20 chickens at any permitted location.
— Chickens must be kept in a covered enclosure or fenced area providing a minimum of six square feet per chicken. The enclosure or fenced area must be kept in a clean, dry, odor-free, neat and sanitary condition at all times.
— The enclosure or fenced area where the chickens are kept must be locatedin the rear of the principal structure and a minimum of 20 feet from any neighboring structures, churches, schools or place of business.
— It shall be unlawful to slaughter chickens within the city.
— It will be unlawful to engage in the breeding of chickens or the production of fertilizer for commercial purposes.
— Chickens can’t run at large.
— It will be unlawful to keep roosters in the city.
— A person granted a permit shall not allow the animals to be a nuisance to any neighbors, neighboring properties, or to the public at large. A nuisance is defined as a noxious odor, noise of a loud and persistent nature, infestation of insects, parasites, snakes and rodents or any unsanitary conditions.
The ordinance passed by a vote of 3-0. Two council members, Ciara Smith and Demetric “DD” Roberts, were not present.
In other business, the council:
— Reappointed Bill Robison and Jerome Freeman to the Anniston Water Works & Sewer Board.
— Awarded a bid for the resurfacing of West 15½ Street alley to Vulcan Materials for a cost of $60,404.
At the end of the meeting, during council comments, Jay Jenkins said that on August 6 a ‘Stop the Violence’ Community Fun Day will be held at the Anniston Youth Sports Complex at McClellan.
“We encourage you guys to come and engage with one another,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins thanked City Manager Steven Folks, Councilwoman Smith and others for bringing the event back after a hiatus.
Activities will include speakers, swimming, outdoor athletics, food and organized educational fun. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. The sports complex is located at 356 Summerall Gate Road.