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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575

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Public to get say on proposed chicken ordinance

Monday, July 21, 2014

Martinsville City Council on Tuesday will hear public comments on a proposal to allow chickens to be raised in the backyards of city homes.

The idea is that chickens would lay eggs that their keepers would eat.

City ordinances currently prohibit residents from keeping live chickens. The council recently received a petition, signed by more than 120 people, asking that poultry be permitted.

The Martinsville Planning Commission forwarded a proposed ordinance for allowing chickens to be kept at homes, but it did not endorse the concept.

Under the ordinance, anyone wanting to keep chickens would have to get a special use permit. That would entail public hearings before both the planning commission and the council, and applicants would have to pay a $200 fee.

Those and other provisions, a report to the council shows, “would deter those with only a casual interest” in raising chickens, give nearby property owners a chance to voice opposition and enable city officials to assess whether applicants have the ability to abide by the proposed rules.

The council will let the public squawk — er, speak — on the issue when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the municipal building on West Church Street uptown. After the public comment time, the council may consider adopting the ordinance on first reading.

Other agenda items for the meeting include:

• Presenting a proclamation pertaining to the annual National Night Out crime-fighting event.

• Considering a resolution confirming city officials’ support and continued use of the National Incident Management System as their standard for managing emergency incidents.

• Hearing reports on city utilities and the city’s business and professional license rates.

• Considering final approval of ordinances concerning terms and conditions for water/sewer service and an exception to the city’s noise ordinance for entertainment at businesses.

• Setting dates and locations for upcoming council neighborhood meetings.

• Considering routine-type budget amendments.

• Hearing business from the floor.

At 7 p.m., the council will meet in closed session to discuss potential local board and commission appointments.


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