Some Edmond residents want chickens in their backyards

People are asking for chickens in their Edmond backyards. The city ordinance limits backyard egg-layers to land zoned agricultural. Council members said they are looking at changing the ordinance.
by Diana Baldwin Modified: May 15, 2014 at 2:47 pm •  Published: May 14, 2014

— Jamie Newton wants urban chickens in her Edmond backyard, but a city ordinance allows backyard egg-layers only on land zoned agricultural.

Newton has gardens at her home in the 1400 block of Mockingbird Lane and she would like to use the soil-enhancing waste on her plants. She also is interested in fresh eggs, something you can’t buy in the store, she said.

“I have a grandson, and he would be able to interact with another animal,” Newton said Wednesday.

Newton asked city council members this week to put backyard chickens on a future agenda for a possible change in the ordinance.

Much to her surprise Newton learned she wasn’t the only one in Edmond wanting chickens.

Mayor Charles Lamb said they have been looking at the wording of the ordinance because other people had requested backyard chickens.

Edmond’s code allows people to build a coop, but they can only have chickens if their property is zoned agricultural.

“It is not the permit,” Lamb said. “We have to work through the policing after the fact. We are still doing our homework.”

The mayor admitted they also are watching how Oklahoma City is handling the request for urban chickens.

The Oklahoma City Council voted 5-4 this week against a proposal to relax rules on who can keep chickens. It followed the Dec. 31 defeat of a proposal that had been part of a broad measure to promote urban agriculture.

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by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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