A neighbor cried foul over Covington resident David Corley's chickens, but the Covington City Council on Monday night ruled that Corley and other city residents can keep their birds.
A neighbor had lodged a complaint against Corley, whose roosters were making too much noise. Corley removed the roosters, but asked the council Monday night to allow him to keep his chickens. The council agreed to suspend its current ordinance regarding the keeping of fowl and to consider an ordinance that would allow residents to keep chickens and other fowl, if kept in a coop or pen.
Planning Director Randy Vinson said many communities are allowing residents to keep chickens, and he will study those communities' ordinances and create a proposed ordinance for Covington. The ordinance would likely allow a certain number of chickens per square foot of lot size. He said most ordinances do not allow roosters because they make too much noise.
Under the current ordinance, city residents can keep chickens if they live on lots greater than three acres. However, few residential lots in Covington are that large.
Mayor Kim Carter said keeping chickens and eating their eggs or the birds themselves, was part of an urban gardening movement that focuses on fresh food production and consumption. Officials said other communities are passing similar ordinances.
Corley said the chickens are like pets and caring for them is therapeutic. He said at least three of his neighbors also keep chickens.