Chicken regulations minimized at tonight's Lander Council meeting

The Lander City Council at tonight's work session changed direction on the issue of chickens within city limits. After hearing from multiple residents, the council has decided to make minor adjustments to existing ordinances rather than creating new regulations. The Lander Police Department brought the issue to the council a few weeks ago after a couple incidents made it clear that the department has no enforcement ability over loose or noisy fowl. Quite a few chicken owners from around town spoke out, believing that the proposed regulations were too restrictive. The police department's proposed ordinance set forth rules regarding how many chickens could be on a property, how far coops could be from neighboring properties and required permits. Read about the original proposal and the community response here . Tonight LPD Sgt. Alan McOmie presented a revised version of the ordinance that took into account many of the community members' concerns. It removed the permitting requirements, allowed for a higher number of chicks and addressed the keeping of other fowl besides chickens. However, Council President Cade Maestas questioned why the city was implementing all of these new regulations when the hole in the enforcement ordinances could be fixed by adding chickens and fowl to the portions of city code relating to noise and animals at large (which currently only addresses dogs). Several community members spoke up, agreeing with him. They urged the council to avoid the deeper regulations and simply close the holes the existing ordinances. The council ultimately agreed, and the LPD was instructed to present the proposed changes at a future meeting. The proposal is also expected to include the registration of flocks, which does not require fees or inspections, and a reminder that coops must meet zoning requirements. #county10 #news