First tropical system of the season possible this weekend🌀

Urban chickens proposal met with opposition and fanfare

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)—A large group of city residents support the idea of keeping chickens within the city limits.

Richmond resident Valerie says she takes great pride in her urban farm.

"It's a cute little coop about the size of a doghouse," Valerie said, and added that her four chickens are little work and lots of reward. "They're easy to care for and you get fresh eggs everyday a lot better than eggs you get in the grocery store.”

A group of citizens have organized and are pushing to amend a zoning ordinance. So far about 1300 people have signed on to support it. However, at least city council person hasn’t signed onto the list.

"We got to be concerned about the city," said Richmond councilwoman Michelle Mosby.

Mosby says she's not supporting the proposed ordinance to allow Richmond city residents to keep up to four female chickens. She says the city has not figured out how they will regulate this issue.

"Where is the clarity for those who don't follow the rules, who is going to enforce that?" said Mosby.

Mosby worries about the lack of animal control officers in the city to police any potential problems should chickens come in contact with other domestic pets like cats or dogs. She says she also knows that some have expressed problems with neighbors already keeping chickens improperly.

"I think chickens should be kept in the country not running around in the front yard like they are down the street," said neighbor Waverly Rowe who opposes the ordinance.

But those who keep chickens, like Valerie,  say most who do also take pride in their coups and will follow the city rules.

"They don't want a messy yard, they take care of their chickens, they don't want too many chickens because that would create a nuisance,” she said.

The ordinance will likely have to pass through two committees before it goes to the full council for a vote in early April.