Chickens in Crystal? Maybe Today!

August 19, 2013 at 11:23 pm 2 comments

By Andrew Richter

From the Sun Post;

Up to four chickens will be allowed in single- and two-family homes in Crystal, if a proposed ordinance amendment is approved on second reading. The ordinance was approved 5-2 on first reading Aug. 5. Councilmembers Mark Hoffmann and Joe Selton cast the dissenting votes. It is scheduled for a second reading Aug. 20.

That’s tonight folks……

City Manager Anne Norris said the council has conducted numerous work session discussion regarding whether to allow chickens in the city.

As proposed, the ordinance has six stipulations:

• Up to four chickens would be allowed at single- and two-family homes.

• No butchering would be allowed.

• Chickens must be kept in coops and runs.

• Coops may be no larger than 120 square feet.

• Coops and runs must be located at least 10 feet from the lot line.

• No roosters will be allowed.

• No breeding of chickens will be allowed.

The amended ordinance also pertains to private kennel license requirements. It specifies that residents may have up to three dogs or three cats, or two dogs and two cats, without securing a private kennel license. A private kennel license is needed for a maximum of five dogs.

Hoffmann and Selton both supported requiring residents who want to raise chickens to pay a  $50 annual permit fee.

“We talk about protecting the tax dollars of citizens,” Selton said. “If you want to play, you pay.”

In other words if you want property rights you need to pay government for it!

Hoffmann pointed out that the city has to be concerned about protecting chickens, as well. He requested that the council receive information at the second reading on what other communities do about permits for chicken-raising and the process for treating violations.

“This is a good amendment,” he said of the proposal to add a permit fee. “It doesn’t hurt anyone who is serious about raising chickens.”

Just another fee, permit, licence requirement…..government is never big enough…..

But Mayor Jim Adams disagreed, saying he “didn’t want to create bureaucracy and additional duties for our city employees. This creates an additional workload and attempts to pay for it.”


Councilmember Laura Libby also pointed out that surrounding suburbs that allow chickens haven’t had a lot of problems. “For now, I would like to see no permit,” Councilmember Julie Deshler said. “We could revisit this in a couple of years. Minneapolis has said the permit process is so cumbersome. I would like to see it not so cumbersome for everyone involved.”

Councilmember John Budziszewski said, “We’ve worked long and hard to make this right. People have sense and sensibility to raise them right. We’ve talked about this a lot. We’ve done our homework well. The rest of it stands on its own.” He noted that the council “put in place measures to prevent chaos or out of control chicken production.”

Councilmember Casey Peak added that “people are respectful if you give them a chance.”

In the end, the council voted 5-2 against requiring a permit. Hoffmann and Selton cast the dissenting votes.

A dozen residents offered comments about the proposed ordinance amendment.

Councilmember Casey Peak said he believes the issue of responsibility rests with the individual.

“If you keep giving it all to government, you have no rights left,” Peak said. “People are good. That’s why we have government. We have a good government that works. If people are not following the rules, they can bring it to our attention. We have to stop giving away our rights or we won’t have any.”

Adams said he believes property rights are a fundamental key to freedom.

“I look at this as allowing some freedom,” Adams said. “We’re not gumming it up with [stipulations on] noise and smells. We’re simplifying things. We’re giving people their rights back.”

Freedom! Liberty! Glorious Hallelujah!!

Final vote is TONIGHT!!!!!! Be there!!!




Entry filed under: City Government, Crystal, Environment.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul Seefeld  |  August 21, 2013 at 7:44 am

    • Coops and runs must be located at least 10 feet from the lot line.

    Got changed back to 5 ft as the existing ordinance for any structure.

  • 2. Paul Seefeld  |  August 21, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Selton still wanted the permits last night but crossed off the $50 fee… so the process would then be unfunded.


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