The Kenai City Council, last night held a lengthily debate over an ordinance to allow residents with lots under an acre in size to keep up to twelve chickens, just hens within the City of Kenai. The ordinance, sponsored by Kenai City Council member Mike Boyle, had been postponed since November 2012. Subsequently, the Kenai Planning and Zoning commission had taken lightly action on the ordinance, and did not support the council enacting the ordinance.
During the Wednesday night public hearing, many members of the Planning and Zoning commission testified to the council in opposition, citing the potential increase of bear activity within city limits, and the existing conditional use permit to allow for residents to house “backyard” chickens.
Following the debate, council member Terry Bookey moved to postpone the ordinance, with the direction to the city administration to create a substitute ordinance that is closely mirrored to the existing city dog kennel ordinance….
Cm. Bookey: “I think the ordinance, as proposed by Council member Boyle, was a good start, but I think that the process to notify the public wasn’t quite there. It gives the administration and the public the opportunity to know where chicken coops are in case problems do arise during the summers with bears. So I felt it would be good to have the administration work on a process similar to a successful ordinance that we already have in regards to kennels, and bring something forward for the council to consider.”
The council voted four to three on the postponement, with Council members, Bookey, Marquis, Boyle, and Molloy in favor. Mayor Porter and council members Gabriel and Navarre cast no votes.
The city administration was given a 90-day time frame for this to come back to council.