Two years ago this month, the Council passed a resolution to legalize the keeping of backyard chickens. There are limits on how many you may have based on your lot size and there are other restrictions and those who keep chickens must pay a registration fee. At the time it passed, some suburban district were amended out of the bill. Exempted from the bill were council districts 12, 20, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33. Now, there is an attempt to remove those exempted districts and make the law apply county-wide.
Metro Councilman Fabian Bedne who represents District 31, wants to keep his district's exemption from the bill and keep it illegal to keep chickens in his district. Here is an email letter he wrote to his constituents.
I wanted you to be aware that there is a Legislation coming to the Metro Council public hearing this January 7th regarding chickens. In the past I was able to exclude our District from the Law but this Legislation seeks to remove that exclusion. The sponsor argues that the law should be the same for the whole City, however that ignores the fact that Nashville is very different in Urban and Suburban areas (we already have farms with lots of farm animals).
I am very happy for people in urban areas to be able to have farm animals if they want to, raising chickens adds to a sustainable way of life. For our district it creates a problem of potentially attracting wild life (such as coyotes) closer to the homes. This sounds made up for people in the core but for us is reality.
I hope you will consider attending the Public Hearing at 6:30 pm January 7th. Thanks
An Ordinance amending Sections 8.12.020 and 17.16.250 pertaining to the keeping of chickens on residential property to remove the sunset provision and remove the prohibition of chickens in certain Council districts (Proposal No. 2014Z-001TX-001).
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. That Section 8.12.020 of the Metropolitan Code is hereby amended by deleting subsection M. in its entirety.
Section 2. That Title 17 of the Metropolitan Code, Zoning Regulations, is hereby amended by deleting subsection B.1. in its entirety, and renumbering the remaining subsections accordingly.
Section 3. That this Ordinance shall take effect from and after its passage, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Karen Bennett, Anthony Davis, Megan Barry, Peter Westerholm