Littleton City Council passed an ordinance April 6, allowing
residents to have up to four chickens in residential areas.
Under the city code, chickens were previously included in the
definition of household pets, of which residents in certain
residential areas were allowed only three.
Under the new ordinance, chickens must have a covered,
predator-resistant enclosure, which can’t be within 15 feet of a
neighbor’s property; roosters are prohibited; and chickens cannot
be killed by the owner on the property. Odor, dust, waste and
drainage must be controlled and not pose a nuisance or health
problem to others.
Councilmembers Jim Taylor and Joseph Trujillo tried to push
through an amendment removing the chicken-killing prohibition.
“I see no reason to have a prohibition in here that people could
not use their chickens for food,” Taylor said. “As long as they
don’t exceed the number at any time, raising them for food should
be an allowable use.”
But other councilmembers disagreed. The measure failed 5-2.
“I’m going to vote no on this because…I can see neighbors
getting upset when they see headless chickens running around in the
backyard,” said Mayor Doug Clark.
Phil Cernanec was the only councilmember to vote against the
ordinance. He said he did not support the ordinance because it
requires chicken coops to be predator-resistant, but no
commercially available chicken coops guarantee predator resistance.
City staff will not be inspecting chicken housing.
“Coyotes are notoriously wily, are present in Littleton, are not
broadly beloved (especially within the neighborhoods, around pets,
and around children), and are known to consider chickens tasty,”
Cernanec wrote in an e-mail. “Without predator-resistance bite
(better yet, predator-proof guarantee), I'm not ready to support
further populating our backyards with flightless fowl.”
Council decided to postpone a decision on an ordinance allowing
residents to keep pigeons in the city until April 20, pending a
review by the planning commission.