The City Council in DeBary, Florida recently reversed its decision to let residents keep up to three backyard hens. A growing number of U.S. communities have allowed backyard chickens as part of a movement to encourage urban agriculture and local food self reliance. For most, chickens are a source of fresh eggs and potent fertilizer; for one family in DeBary, the change threatens a positive influence in the life of their son, who has autism.
It would appear that there is a split over the new decision at the city level. Mayor Bob Garcia wanted to see the backyard chicken option extended, but some on City Council prevailed. From the article:
DeBary Council member Nick Koval defended his decision to end the program, saying chickens don’t belong in residential communities.
“It’s unfortunate, and I sympathize,” Koval said. “But we spend a lot of time and money establishing codes and ordinances for the protection of the citizens and taxpayers of this community. And I believe that they [chickens] belong in agricultural areas.”
While Koval’s views reflect one perspective on a national trend, the larger question may involve whether the animals could be considered as a needed accommodation for the three-year old boy’s disability. Stay tuned.
This is not to say that chickens might not represent an ‘undue financial or administrative burden’ for housing providers
See the entire article here
For a discussion of the issue of backyard poultry, see The Backyard Chicken Fight