HomeNewsCode Committee discusses chicken ownership, issues with imminent domain

Code Committee discusses chicken ownership, issues with imminent domain

The City of Jackson Code Committee met Wednesday, Feb. 22, the biggest topic on their list was the policy surrounding chickens in the City of Jackson.

Under current codes, the place where chickens are kept must be more than 1,000 ft. away from a neighbor’s house, making it illegal to have chickens for most residents, due to lot sizes.

The Codes committee is working with the Animal Care Center to review the policy, and present it to the full City Council for a vote. 

“We’re trying to be as progressive as possible while also protecting the individual rights of property owners in the city,” said Whitney Owen, Director of the Animal Care Center. “All of our surrounding metropolitan areas, Mount Juliet, Nashville, Collierville, Memphis all allow chicken ownership in the city limits with little to no regulation on it. 

“And with Jackson growing as fast as it’s going to over the next decade, we want to make sure that we are protecting individual property rights and individual residents from having to deal with overly nuisance animals, things like that. But we also want to allow people the freedom to operate their families and their home dynamic as they see fit and be as productive as possible.”

With the rising cost of eggs and other issues, the committee is worried the number of people seeking chicken-ownership might exceed the Animal Care Center’s manpower to handle the subsequent calls they receive. At the same time, some on the committee recognized the public’s desire to own these types of animals. 

The proposal was tabled for now, with more research to be done. 

The Code Committee also spoke with City Engineer Stan Pilant about updating the code to make “Imminent Domain” more efficient. Discussion was held around contacting property owners in the most efficient and effective ways. The committee is doing more research on that issue as well. 

Julia Ewoldt, julia@jacksonpost.news

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