Rhinelander has joined at least two other area communities in allowing small numbers of chickens, but the approval has restrictions.
Jen Van Order asked the city a few months ago to change laws to allow up to 4 hens, no roosters in confined space. She has worked with city officials on the proposal. During a hearing at last night's council meeting, she says hens are less loud than barking dogs and, she says, cleaner. Property owners would need a special permit...
"...neighbors are to be notified and be given a chance to object. You have to submit your plans showing the location of your chicken coop. The chickens have to remain in the coop secure..."
There was opposition. Diane Kirby said she felt others were opposed to it, but hadn't come forward...
"I'm very opposed to this. I just want to know why it is so important for anyone to approve this..."
Council member Joe Salzer also said he had heard from many people opposed to it. But other council members said the work on a an agreement had put enough restrictions on it to enable them to approve it. Applicants would need to pay an initial $75 dollar fee and have the plans approved with setbacks and inspections.
The council voted 5-2 to allow up to four hens on private city properties.