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City council takes no action on chicken ordinance

By Kati Walker
News Editor

The Levelland City Council met Monday night to hold a public hearing on whether or not to make changes to an ordinance regarding regulations for chickens. The council voted to not take action at this time on the issue.
City council member Billy Youngblood suggested council wait to see what happens with Senate Bill 1620, which was recently passed by the Texas Senate. However, city attorney Matt Wade said it was unclear at this time whether the bill would become law. The bill would stop cities from prohibiting less than six chickens per property within the city limits.
During the public hearing, five citizens voiced opinions, three wanted chickens to be allowed and two dissented.
Dusti Stark said chickens provided her family an opportunity to educate her children on where their family’s groceries came from. She also said it allowed her family to have an outdoor pet without the hassle of house training.
“Raising chickens is a wonderful family activity and an excellent opportunity to show kids their food doesn’t grow on grocery store shelf,” Stark said. “It’s important to know the farm to plate chain.”
Cindy Niedenhaucer said she knew of two specific families that had decided to not move to Levelland because the city didn’t allow chickens.
“I know two high quality, great families who the only reason they didn’t move to Levelland is because they couldn’t have their chickens,” she said. “This would be a great thing to pass that would help in that step to bringing more families that are wanting to add to the town.”
Todd Paxton, local realtor, said chickens would make a property less attractive to prospective buyers.
“I understand the comments made, but I don’t think its appropriate for typical neighborhoods and the size of lots and properties I would have for sale,” Paxton said. “Whether chickens or household pet at a neighbors…it greatly deteriorates the appeal of that home.”
Youngblood suggested while not taking action, the council should also spend time researching ordinances in other towns regarding the chicken issue.
Toney Cowan, police chief, said the ordinance will continue to be enforced as it reads in the current city code and if complaints are received, they will be addressed as violations of city code.

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