GOSHEN — There will be no (legal) keeping of chickens within the city limits of Goshen, at least for the time being.
Such was the ruling of the Goshen City Council Tuesday, where council members voted four to two against passage of a proposed ordinance that would have allowed the keeping of hens within city limits.
The council had approved the ordinance on first reading at its March 4 meeting, though a vote on second reading was postponed until Tuesday in order to allow more time for research on the matter as well as more input from the Goshen community.
While very close to the original ordinance considered at the council’s March 4 meeting, the ordinance that would eventually be voted down Tuesday included several amendments connected to issues, such as the allowed placement of chicken coops and the disposal of unwanted chickens.
As approved on first reading, the proposed ordinance stated that city residents residing in either a single-family dwelling or duplex would be able to keep up to six hens on their property without a zoning variance, though chickens would remain prohibited on the premises of any multi-family dwellings.
A quick breakdown of the four primary limitations stated in the ordinance include:
• No more than six female chickens may be located on any real estate. Roosters and other types of fowl are prohibited;
• Chickens shall be kept for pets or personal, non-commercial use only. Selling of eggs and fertilizer is prohibited;
• Breeding of chickens is prohibited on the premises; and
• Slaughtering of chickens is prohibited on the premises.
In addition to the four primary limitations, the ordinance also includes numerous regulations pertaining to the enclosures in which the chickens should be kept, their placement, and the required upkeep of those structures.
During Tuesday’s meeting, council members attempted to deal with a placement issue raised at the council’s March 4 meeting by voting to amend the original ordinance to include the ability of a person to have chickens on a corner lot.