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Code changed for permits to keep chickens in Ashwaubenon

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – After holding a public hearing, Tuesday, Oct. 27, the village board approved an ordinance amendment related to permits for keeping chickens in the village.

The amendment changes the required written approval from all owner-occupied property owners within 100 feet of a permit applicant’s property lines to within 100 feet of the chicken coop.

Community Development Director Aaron Schuette said the revision was made in response to a request by Sara Friedel, who lives Otto Court, where she wishes to have chickens in a backyard coop located more than 100 feet away from someone who objects to chickens being kept there.

“Staff, we reviewed the ordinance, found a few deficiencies in terms of how it is written, compared to how it’s administered,” he said. “We saw a few changes needed to be made, particularly the distance requirements for neighborhood notification from 100 feet to the parcel line to 100 feet from the chicken coop, which is a much more practical methodology of measuring this, as well as notifying the neighbors.”

Schuette said the amendment also limits the number of permits allowed in the village’s R-1 Residential zoning district to four and the total number of chickens allowed per permit to four.

Friedel, who spoke during the public hearing, said the coop can be set back in her yard to be far enough away from her neighbors.

“If we measure from the coop, then we’ve got a good idea of distance between our neighbors and where the chickens actually are located to the neighbors’ property, as opposed to from the property line, which is really 160 feet just to the front of my yard,” she said.

Friedel said she ran into opposition to getting written approval across the street from some people living more than 100 feet away from where the coop will be located.

“I think they wouldn’t sign anything, even if I asked them to sign to have a dog or children, for that matter,” she said. “They are so far away that it shouldn’t matter. This rewrite would make more sense and take into account somebody with a big piece of property, like I do.”

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