Carthage Chicken Ordinance Proposal

Published 08/21 2014 06:19PM

Updated 08/21 2014 07:50PM

CARTHAGE, MO.--- The debate over raising chickens in Carthage is an issue that's been brought to the city council's attention before.

"It went through council and it was. The restrictions were so prohibitive that it really makes it unlikely that anybody could do that," said Mike Harris, Carthage Mayor. 

After a couple years, now the conversation is back in the light. Residents have asked Councilman Brady Beckham to bring it up again.

"It's becoming more and more popular to do that in urban areas, so he did some research, we compared ordinances in several towns," said Mayor Harris. 

The proposed ordinance amendment would allow Carthage residents to raise chickens if they are 25 feet away from an adjoining residence or business. As it stands now, they have to be 250 feet away.

"It still has restrictions, but it would make it more easy to raise chickens in home," said Mayor Harris. 

The proposal has some people shaking their heads no.

"There's a definite health risk with their feces and other parasites. They shouldn't be next to personal residences. They belong on a farm," said Tracy Rush, Carthage resident.

Her neighbor Larry Makeeff disagrees and says he would support the ordinance.

"They don't bother me," said Larry Makeef, Carthage resident. 

The ordinance modifications also state people could then have up to five chickens, all female, and only four of those would be able to lay eggs. Mayor Mike Harris says the change could be needed since the trend to raise chickens has grown.

"I expect that there would be more people that are for it than there were last time," said Mayor Harris. 

A first reading of the proposal will go before city council on Tuesday.

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