Officials: Chickens can come home to roost in WCH


Washington Court House citizens are now legally able to keep chickens within the city limits.

On Saturday at Carnegie Public Library, City of Washington Court House officials were on hand to talk about the new “Chicken Ordinance,” which allows citizens to keep their own chickens year-around. The ordinance, however, does require that the citizens acquire a license. The announcement also included a Q&A where locals were able to attend and ask questions regarding the ordinance.

The idea of this ordinance came from Sylvia Call — a local poultry enthusiast who plans on running for city council.

“I first brought the idea to the city manager, Joe Denen, and gave him the information about the perks of keeping chickens, like producing fresh eggs,” she said, “but chickens are also very clever, and make great friends.”

During the meeting, Denen said, “The main purpose for passing the ordinance is to make sure owners are maintaining the animals responsibly within certain limits made by the city law.”

Citizens wanting to own chickens are only permitted six animals per residence, and are not permitted to own a rooster. Only single or duplex homes are acceptable for owning chickens within city limits. The license procedure will require a $20 one time fee, and an illustration of the coop/hutch to describe where the animals will be kept.

According to the city, the coop/hutch must be five feet from any property line and at least 10 feet from any neighboring residence.

At the announcement and “Q&A” of the ordinance, city council member Caleb Johnson explained that, “The one thing that the city council recognizes is that people were already keeping chickens pre-ordinance.” He explained that it would be “good policy” to not portray these people who are simply “taking care of their animals” as “outlaws.”

Licence applications can be acquired at 105 N. Main St. For more information on the application process, call 740-636-2340.

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