Cock-a-doodle-do, Creswell’s cracking down on roaming chickens in town.
After a meandering flock took one too many liberties in their neighbor’s yard, code enforcement wants to change the municipal code to revoke their license to roam.
This proposal comes to city council after a complaint was filed to Code Enforcement Officer Shelley Humble regarding chickens at an apartment on Holbrook Lane. The buggers were digging up neighbors’ yards while looking for worms and loitering and pooping in others’ driveways.
There were a few issues with the chickens in question, Humble said.
According to the current code, chickens were not allowed at that complex in the first place. Fowl and poultry are not permitted in any multifamily housing structure including duplexes, single-family attached dwellings, cottage cluster dwellings or manufactured home parks.
But what isn’t spelled out in the code are parameters on free-ranging animals.
The proposed changes to code 6.05.310 references lot size and the numbers of farm animals permitted.
That current code already offers restrictions on the location, number and density in which chickens are to be kept, but does not outline rules specifically mentioning free-ranging animals, however.
Humble said she wanted to get a leg-up on the code for preventative measures.
Humble took note of Eugene’s relaxed regulations for urban farming and the issues that have been facing their city. Because of the gaining popularity in urban farming, chickens, compost piles and backyard gardening, there is an influx of rats in Eugene.
In fact, Ed Byerly, Oregon Pest Control owner, told news sources in December 2017 that Eugene was seeing an ”explosion in the rat population.”
Humble said that cracking down and specifying the code could help deter that problem from exploding in Creswell.
The proposed changes to the code state that rabbits, fowl, poultry cannot roam off of the property, and that fencing is required to confine the animals to their respective properties.
It also states that proper sanitation must be maintained, and that farm and animal waste is not allowed to accumulate. Compost piles that contain farm animal waste matter must be located at least five feet from all property lines and in a container or bin that is enclosed on all sides, and covered with a lid to deter rodents, flies and other pests.
Owners must also ensure that odors from the farm animals is not detectable beyond your property line, and that food storage must be in a metal or other rodent-proof container.
An enclosure is also required, and must be roofed and have at least two solid sides; comply with the required height for accessory structures in your zone; and must be located at least 10 feet from all property lines, unless with authorization from the neighbor of the bordering property.
The code is also being updated to address that the harvesting of rabbits, fowl and poultry cannot occur within the public’s view, and must be done humanely and in a sanitary manner.
The current code states that animals are permitted on properties zoned low density residential or industrial only, and that people with farm animals must reside on or be contiguous to the property on which the animals are kept.
Also under the current code, residents are allowed to have a certain amount of fowl and poultry according to their lot size. You can have one to three on a minimum lot size of 5,000 square feet; four to six on a minimum lot size of 10,000 square feet; and seven or more with 1,000 square feet or more for each animal, according to code 6.05.330.
Additionally, the number of permitted young shall be limited to three times the number of permitted adult animals, and roosters over six months old are not permitted.
You can find the code online at codepublishing.com/OR/Creswell/
This ordinance will be effective 30 days after adoption, which is slated for the Dec. 10 city council meeting at city hall, at 7 p.m.
Check next week’s Chronicle for more updates about what’s going on with city council.