Originally published 9:35 a.m. Oct. 12.
After hearing a plea from Addie and Allie Tweet, the La Mesa City Council voted unanimously to explore the idea of allowing local residents to keep chickens in their yards.
"We used to have six lovely chickens but we had to move them to a different home until the law got changed. We miss them very much and I would like my chickens back," Addie said.
Addie, 9, first addressed city council more than a year ago.
The Tweets' chickens moved out three months ago after noise complaints, their mother Libby said.
The matter was placed on the meeting agenda Tuesday at the request of Councilman Ernest Ewin.
Ewin said he brought the chicken issue up under Goal 2 of the Health and Wellness section of the General Plan which says the city should encourage "access to fresh produce and other safe, nutritionally sound food."
"I think what I'm asking for here is to get to the point where staff can come back with directive, something that defines exactly how reasonable fowl or poultry can be kept at residence within city limits," he said.
City staff will return to city council in the future to present some options and recommendations, including whether chickens should be allowed in all or certain parts of the city.
Ewin envisions the change to city law would not allow roosters, but not everyone is enthusiastic about the possible change to city law.
David Smyle thinks the city may want to consider making soundproof coops a requirement.
"I have a hard enough times dealing with barking dogs," he said. "I don't think you can tell a chicken to shut up. I don't think they'll do it."
City Manager David Witt said the city allowed backyard chickens and rabbits in 1943 but revoked the law about a decade later.
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