The Keizer City Council should let residents have chickens within city limits.

A proposed text amendment that the council will hear next Monday would allow homeowners to have up to three hens.   This is a controversy that isn’t.

A story in this week’s Keizertimes reports that other cities that allow urban chickens have received scant complaints.  Some people say that chickens will be a noisy nuisance, others say they are dirty and attract vermin.  Leaving dog or cat food outside attracts unwanted visits such as rats, raccoons, opossums and more.

Some people say that allowing homeowners to have chickens in their backyards will be the target of neighborhood dogs and cats.

It is doubtful there will be flood of people seeking permits for chickens.  But those who want them should be able to have them as long as they follow whatever rules the proposed text amendment sets down.

A text amendment should limit any home to three hens and allow no roosters—the ones that loudly cock-a-doodle-do before most people are ready to get out of bed. Chicken coops should be located far enough from any house.

It will be personal responsibility that will make urban chickens a non-issue.  Those who want chickens need to be vigilant that their birds are not a nuisance to their neighbors.  They must assure that the chicken coops are cleaned regularly, coops are securely built and they respond to any complaints from neighbors immediately.

The city council should approve a text amendment, without taking hours to discuss it, and then move forward on issues that are more important, such as how to fund the vacant police positions.

—LAZ