WATCH: Backyard Chickens Forced to Wait to Lay in Irmo
The Irmo Town Council voted to defer a first vote on legalizing backyard chickens Tuesday
IRMO, S.C. (WOLO) – The Irmo Town Council voted to defer a first vote on legalizing backyard chickens Tuesday.
Council members wanted to wait for Councilman Barry Walker, Sr., who is in the hospital. As Councilwoman Kathy Condom put it, she wanted to make sure the chicken people got a fair shot.
They’ll take up the issue again on April 5.
“This has been a hot button subject,” Councilman Paul Pouliot said. All councilors said they’ve never gotten this much response from the community on an issue. Tuesday’s turnout reflected the passion that’s come to roost. Three people spoke on behalf of the birds. One person voiced his concern.
Using the Town of Lexington’s rules as an outline, Mayor Hardy King has proposed limiting people to four chickens, requiring a $100 dollar annual fee and zoning permit, and setting specific limits on coop sizes and their proximity to houses.
Councilman Pouliot says the strict regulations and costs associated with getting started will filter out potential bad chicken owners.
“With the guidelines, you have to have a passion to do this,” he said. “It’s much more expensive than owning a dog, owning a cat.”
Condom says her background with home owners associations makes her automatically against it, but she says she could change her mind in the next two weeks. She’s impressed by supporters’ enthusiasm.
“They have a lot of conviction about these chickens, and I think they’ll take good care of ’em,” she said.
Mayor King is proposing a one year trial period to work the kinks out of the coop. In the mean time, Irmo residents are encouraged to keep calling, writing and emailing their representative to speak out for or against backyard chickens.