The South Bend Common Council passed a bill, Monday evening, allowing people to raise chickens within city boundaries.
The law limits people to six hens. Roosters won’t be allowed.
Anyone who wants to have their own coop will have to purchase an annual $20 permit from the city and they must clean out the chicken waste daily.
The chickens may not be kept for commercial purpose and/or butchered, the ordinance states, and they must be confined to a coop (house) and pen (run or yard) constructed of standard building materials.
The pen may not contain more than 120 square feet of floor space, according to the ordinance, and it must be at least 15 feet from the property line and at least 20 feet from the nearest home.
“This is just not about saving money on eggs. It's about educating our children. It is about changing our food system one home at a time, and yes it's about having pets just like a cat or a dog,” said Susan Greutman, who spoke on behalf of the South Bend Urban Chicken Alliance.
The vote was 6-3. An amendment which would’ve required potential chicken owners to get approval from their neighbors did not pass.
Homeowners now wonder what this means for their block and its property values.
There are some real estate agents who think certain buyers might not love the idea of chickens next door.
“If odor is involved or if extra noise is involved and that type of thing, we call them ‘deal killers’ in real estate,” said Jim Dunfee, a realtor and owner of Weichert Realtors.
“A laying hen at its loudest is the same volume as a normal conversation. It’s actually quieter than traffic, a pop up toaster, a doorbell, and most air conditioners,” said Brian Hoover, a member of the chicken alliance, prior to the vote.
Soon-to-be chicken owners will be able to apply for their permits once the mayor signs the bill into law.