Chickens gain attention at City Council

Hannah Grover

FARMINGTON — Over the past three years, the city of Farmington has drawn six special-use permit requests from residents hoping to keep chickens on residential property, Councilor Nate Duckett said during a meeting tonight.

Farmington City Council

During the meeting, the council voted 3-2 in favor of a special-use permit request allowing a Farmington woman to keep 16 chickens, including one rooster.

Following the meeting, Mayor Tommy Roberts said recent special-use permit requests have prompted the city staff to consider changing the code to allow residents to keep a set number of chickens.

“I think we’ll see more and more of it,” Roberts said about residents keeping chickens within city limits.

Duckett and Councilor Gayla McCulloch both voted against the permit because of the rooster. The owner, Heather Stotz, currently keeps one rooster on her property along with her 15 hens. She said a collar her rooster wears stifles his crowing. The permit will require her to keep the collar on the rooster at all times.

A few months ago, Duckett asked his constituents via Facebook what they thought about the idea of residents keeping chickens. In his post, he said he expects the city will see more requests in the future. During the council meeting, Duckett said the majority of people who responded to his post were not opposed to hens, but did not like the idea of residents keeping a rooster.

Stotz's neighbors said they were annoyed by the rooster and concerned about the potential health impacts of the chickens. The special-use permit requires Stotz to keep her coop clean and prevent water from flowing through the coop and onto her neighbors' property during storms.

Both Duckett and McCulloch supported approving the permit without the rooster.

“If you’ve ever lived next door to a rooster, you understand the problem,” McCulloch said.

In other news, the council tabled a measure to consider an agreement with the town of Kirtland to adjust the boundaries of the city’s planning and platting jurisdiction. Currently, the city has planning and platting jurisdiction for the areas within five miles of Farmington’s limits. In May, Kirtland officials proposed changing those jurisdictions to align with school district boundaries. Kirtland officials later withdrew that request and has submitted an alternative proposal.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.