The City of Powell’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to pass the Maggie Carter Zoning Code that could allow chickens to be raised on a residential property.
Maggie Carter, 11-years-old and name sake of the code, approached the commission Wednesday night with a special question. “I want to ask if I can have chickens in my backyard,”she said. “So I can learn to raise them.”
Powell City Council next will consider the change and must approve it.
Maggie’s father, Stephen Carter, said, they live on the edge of Powell surrounded by Liberty Township properties where chickens were allowed to be raised. He told Maggie that they live in Powell where there is an ordinance against raising chickens in the city.
The Carters decided if they were going to raise chickens they needed to talk with their neighbors about the idea. “No one was against it,” Stephen Carter said.
After that they contacted the city.
“We met with Mr. Dave Betz, director of development,” Stephen Carter said. “Maggie expressed her concern and he informed us that they were in the process of rewriting city codes and this would be something they would consider.”
The Carters did some research and found other cities that permitted raising chickens on residential properties.
“We explained to Betz that the City of Bexley and the City of Columbus allowed chickens,”Stephen Carter said. “So Betz looked at those cities and those ordinances.”
Rocky Kambo, planner for the commission, said there had been other inquiries about raising chickens in Powell during the meeting. “More and more the development department has been getting calls about having chickens in the City of Powell,” Kambo told the commission.
He said part of reworking the city’s comprehensions plan was changing codes to allow for things like chickens.
“We modeled our proposal ordinance off of Bexley’s ordinance,” he said. “We added some provisions regarding the number of chickens (no more than nine) and how they are to be reviewed by the department.”
Kambo said the code had been reviewed and it was recommended for approval by planning and zoning. “The overall scoop on the coop,” he said, “is this will ultimately go to council because the council can make legislative actions adopting the ordinance change.”
Maggie Carter said it was great that the commission approved the code and she thought that city council would pass it.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.