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Spanish Fork prepares to permit chickens

SPANISH FORK — Residents soon may be able to raise chickens in their backyards.

City officials agreed Tuesday to have the planning department look at other municipalities' ordinances allowing the birds so planners could draft rules for Spanish Fork.

City leaders would determine how many chickens would be allowed per yard. The ordinance likely would include a requirement to keep the birds away from property lines. Roosters would be prohibited.

The proposal came from Shauna Michelson, who said she wants to raise chickens for self-reliance and to teach her children responsibility.

Similar proposals recently have gone before city councils in neighboring cities. Springville turned down a request to allow chickens in residential areas, while Elk Ridge allowed them with a conditional-use permit. Provo leaders recently voted to allow chickens, with a complicated set of rules.

"Provo's (ordinance) makes no sense to me," Mayor Wayne Andersen said. "It gets down to two chickens on a small lot. You can't produce much (with two chickens). I suspect you can buy eggs cheaper than you can produce them, but it gives the young people an opportunity."

— Rodger L. Hardy