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Editorial: Chicken ordinance is flawed

We've probably never written more about chickens than we have the last two weeks.

What's all the fuss about?

On Monday, the Hastings Planning Commission gave the go-ahead for Hastings residents to keep chickens in their backyards as pets and as a food source.

Let's jump to a conclusion that most residents aren't necessarily interested in having chickens as pets. More, it is safe to say, are interested in eating chickens than they are cuddling up with one after a long day of work.

But as it stands right now, the ordinance is flawed. Let's say you want to have your four chickens running around in the lawn. You'd have to notify everyone within 350 feet of your request, and a public hearing would be held. That distance is greater than a football field! Draw a circle around your house stretching out that far in each direction. Seems a bit much to us.

We can't imagine four hens terrorizing your neighbor six doors down with their incessant pecking.

Add in a license fee to have your chickens, and all of a sudden growing four chickens in your backyard appears to be a pretty bad business decision for those hoping for eggs at breakfast, or chicken wings at dinner.

Of course, if you've been desperately hoping for pet chickens to greet you at the patio door after work, this ordinance is perfect.

Chad Richardson

Chad Richardson is the news director for RiverTown Multimedia. He was the publisher of four RiverTown publications until 2016, when he was named news director. He was previously general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He worked at the Hastings Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.

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