Green light for city chickens

At its meeting yesterday, Asheville City Council adopted new language in the city’s animal ordinance that includes more leeway for keeping chickens, but held off on a provision that would ban the tethering of dogs.

The change marks a victory for the group Asheville City Chickens, which says that the ability to raise chickens in the city fosters home-grown, sustainable food.

The new language allows chickens within 10 feet of property lines (down from 100 feet) or 50 feet from the nearest residence but also requires that coops and runs be well kept and fully enclosed. The language forbids roosters.

Also, the new law allows the city to charge a license fee for raising chickens and to inspect coops on an as-needed basis.

Council asked city staff to re-examine a rule banning the tethering of dogs. The staff’s recommendation would ban the chaining of dogs, but would allow a T-runner, a move opposed by some anti-tether activists. Staff is expected to report back to Council on the matter in 30 to 60 days.

For more coverage of the meeting, see the May 6 issue of Xpress.

Brian Postelle, staff writer


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8 thoughts on “Green light for city chickens

  1. Fred Keister

    I am so glad I do not live in the city and have to endure some transplant “going back to the land” in the city. Hey, if you want to raise chickens, MOVE out in the country where they have always been allowed, and people’s houses are much farther apart. This is madness. And then you add the bee hives with their draw for bears and you have a real comedy of compounded errors.

  2. Piffy!


    I am quite pleased the city beginning to come to it’s senses about sustainability. Those willing and interested in producing even a small fraction of their own food is certainly a great step in the right direction towards sustainability and self-sufficiency. (Despite one person’s fears of massive bear attacks in downtown asheville!)

  3. shannon capezzali

    I am so excited about this! Now I just have to convince my husband to let me get some lol.

  4. Fred Keister

    Let’s agitate for the next chapter in Asheville City sustainable allowances for home owners and renters within the city limits. Hey, what about the meat eaters? HUH? The egg and honey people, and the bears and foxes, are happy now, but what about the meat eaters? Let’s agitate for sustainability here. Allow pigs and cows within 50 feet of your neighbor. And when the old boys are fat enough, do the hog killin and cow whackin roght there at home! Hang them quarters up in the curin barn. Yeah, let’s turn Asheville into farm country within the city limits! Hog callin, then hog killin in Montford. Whoo-pee!

  5. ms hendersonville

    My neighbor has chickens and ever since he got them I have been over run with mice. They feed on the chicken feed and then come down to my house. In the 25 years I have lived here I have only caught 2 mice. In the last week I have caught 25 in one week!!!!!. Be careful what you wish for. I live in Henderson County and there is nothing the county can do. They told me to just keep buying mouse traps. Terminex is coming out Monday and I hope those chickens eat some of the stuff that Terminex is going to put out. Terminex is going to be cheaper in the long run then all those traps I have to buy.

  6. John

    I’m all for sustainability. Local food and energy. I like this idea and I’m really glad that the ‘rooster provision’ is in there. Ever had one next door? At first, they are cool and fun. Then they crow a little. Then they crow a little more. Then they crow their butts off and attack anything smaller than an elephant. Yummy rooster.

  7. Bill Barnwell

    ROFL Fred right on. While one arm of government is warning city residents of possible fines if bird feeders are left out, another arm is allowing another bear attractant: honey combs. But we must continue to make Asheville look weird and on the vanguard of progressive sustainable communities. Must we not?

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