Local government is still deciding how it should balance law and order with residents’ passion for raising chickens.
Last year, the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly put a hold on the enforcement of land use regulations which prohibit keeping poultry on urban residential lots, and the borough has since been trying to figure out how to better control the keeping of chickens and other small animals.
Since it’s a land issue, the latest draft of the chicken ordinance is headed next to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
At the assembly’s work session last week, Community Development Director Sara Mason explained their progress so far.
Mason said she’d solicited public input and presented it to P & Z.
“What we gathered really from the public was – from people that were at the meeting and then that did the survey – was that chickens other than being explicitly allowed as a permitted use in the zoning district not otherwise be regulated by land use regulations. That the regulation of the keeping of those animals be left to animal welfare and animal nuisance.”
Assemblyman Dave Townsend said he wanted to see a more substantial number than the 47 responses they’d received before moving forward.
“It’s difficult to draw any kind of conclusion out of that number. We’ve got 1600 people that live here full time in the borough, so taking the opinions of 47 is valuable, but not really a percentage of people we should be looking at. I think there’s a lot of time that needs to be – just getting this out into public view.”
According to the meeting packet, P & Z will review the next draft ordinance in July.