DANVILLE — The work/study portion of the Danville Town Council meeting resulted in a discussion on the topic of farm animals in town limits.
An ordinance passed in the 1970s prohibited chickens from being raised in the town limits, but many residents were apparently unaware of such an ordinance.
Council members said they have been hearing complaints from residents about the chickens, mostly in regards to the noise nuisance they present.
There are residents in Danville who own chickens that have now started a petition to change or eliminate the ordinance and to allow the chickens in town.
The petitioners say the noise coming from dogs in the town is much louder than their chickens have ever been. They say they have signatures on the petition from residents in and outside of Danville that say the chickens are not a problem.
“We have had the chickens for 4 ½ years and none of the neighbors have a problem with them,” one petitioner said. “We have seven chickens, and we consider them our pets.”
Town council member Marcia Lynch said the chickens could attract predators such as coyotes and foxes into the town.
“My fear is that the chickens would attract these predators, creating danger to the kids in town,” Lynch said.
The petitioners say they are hoping for some kind of compromise.
If the ordinance is eliminated, council members said the chickens would have to require some kind of zoning, annual inspections, permits, district regulations in different lot sizes, instruction of enclosures, and cleaning of the enclosures.
The town council also said that property values are an issue. If someone wanted to buy a home that happened to be located next to a home with chickens, they fear the buyers would back out.
“If people had the land to accommodate the chickens and it was well maintained, it would be all right, but I’m not comfortable for people in town to have them on a small piece of land,” Lynch said.
After some discussion, town council members decided to uphold the ordinance prohibiting chickens from being raised in town limits, saying the majority of the residents here are against it. They gave the petitioners 30 days to find new homes for their chickens.