Chickens OKed for city residence

A Princeton city couple’s request to keep chickens at their residence has cleared the city Planning Commission and now only needs to get the council’s approval.

The commission, on Monday, unanimously recommended to the council that it approve an interim use permit for Eric and Amy Wogen to keep up to four hens at their residence at 807 First St. One of the conditions is that the permit would terminate upon the couple selling the property.

Eric Wogen attended the commission meeting and answered a few questions from the commission. Wogen explained prior to the meeting one of the big reasons why he and his wife are making the request is so that their three children can have the experience of being around chickens and learning more about where food comes from, he said.

One of the other conditions in the permit is that chicken slaughtering cannot take place on the property. By ordinance, they would be limited to having four chickens.. Further, none of the chickens can be roosters and each chicken would have to have a leg band containing the owner’s name, address and telephone number.

City Zoning Administrator Carie Fuhrman explained the leg banding: If any of the chickens got loose in the city, people could determine who they belonged to, she said.

Other conditions in the permit include:

• The keeping of other poultry besides chicken would be prohibited.

• No chicken fighting would be allowed.

• Chickens could not be kept inside a residential house or garage.

• The chickens would have to be housed in a separate coop, meeting certain minimum standards. This includes that they are located in a rear or side yard, and that a building permit is required if the chicken coop is 120 square feet or larger.

• The coop be constructed to keep out rodents.

• There be a run or exercise yard enclosed by a fence for the chickens.

• All premises on which the chickens are kept must be kept clean from filth, garbage and any substances that attract rodents. The coop and its surroundings must be cleaned frequently enough to control odor. Also, manure must not accumulate in a way that causes an unsanitary condition or causes odors detectable on another property.

• All food must be stored in a rodent-proof container.

• Dead chickens shall be disposed of according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health rules (which usually means within 48 to 72 hours of death).

Commission member Dick Dobson asked Wogen if he would have a sufficient enclosed area for the chickens to run in. “Little chickies need their exercise, too,” Dobson said.

Wogen satisfied the commission’s inquiry about how the chicken area would look on the property.

Wogen sounded excited about the promise of having chickens on his lot. He said his third-grade son has already been researching different kinds of chickens and when Wogen mentioned a couple examples, Dobson responded, “Good choices.”

The City Council is scheduled to act on the commission’s recommendation at the council’s April 25 meeting.