NORMAL – Mike Sebald of the organization BloNo Backyard Chickens presented a report to the Normal City Council during its May 2nd session, supporting a proposal that would allow for chickens within city limits.
Sebald delivered a ten-minute report that outlined how similar ordinances work in other cities and addressed concerns of council members. Sebald suggested that the chickens would be like any other pets, but unlike dogs and cats, chickens would provide eggs to their owners.
Council members appeared cautious but not totally opposed to the proposal. A proposed ordinance will now be drawn up for public consideration and a forum is being planned when citizens can voice their support or opposition. Councilmembers will then make their decision on the ordinance.
Some members had conducted research into the experience of other cities with backyard chicken ordinances and presented their findings. Councilwoman Sonja Reece was surprised that there were very few problems associated with a town allowing backyard chickens. Councilmember Jeff Fritzen said that he was initially opposed but found very few negative aspects in other cities. Councilmember Adam Neilsen argued that there could be some issues to consider further, including the problem of irresponsible owners.
Sebald responded to the questions put forward by council members. He argued, for example, that the issue of irresponsible owners would be minimized by the amount of time and energy required for raising chickens. Sebald agreed with City Manager Mark Peterson that few people in a city the size of Normal would likely make the investment.
You can watch Mike Siebald’s presentation to the council embedded below. Listening by headphone, or with attached speakers, helps the the video’s problem of low sound volume.