CHARLOTTE, Mich. — Good news for omelet fans. Eaton Rapids residents could soon be allowed to keep chickens inside city limits.
The ordinance the City Council is considering wouldn't allow unlimited numbers of chickens, and residents would likely need to have at least an acre to keep them. The council is still working out the details.
Residents would have to "have a certain designated square foot area per bird. It would require that residents keep no more than a certain amount of chickens. It would not allow roosters at all," said Eaton Rapids City Manager Aaron Desentz.
A permit and inspection would also be required to make sure the setup complies with the city ordinance. Desentz said the annual fee has not been determined yet.
Lansing, East Lansing, Delta Township and Charlotte allow chickens, and Desentz said the city has looked at Charlotte's ordinance and mirrored some of the conditions.
Torie Harr, a resident of Eaton Rapids, wrote a letter to the council back in 2020 requesting they take a look at the ordinance that prohibits chickens. She wants to keep chickens because she wants them to teach her kids a life lesson.
"I think it's a good responsibility for them, just understanding nature and like the whole process of that and going through it," Harr said. "Sure, you can do it with other animals, but it's just different with the chickens outside and the laying of the eggs and taking care of them."
Desentz said there are pros and cons to having chickens, that some people would not like the chickens due to odors and noise complaints while others would find value in owning them.
"Certainly, Eaton Rapids has a root in agriculture, so there's individuals here that are a part of a 4-H Club or those kinds of things that would like to have birds where they couldn't have other life stock, certainly in a city like this," Desentz said.
The City Council will discuss the ordinance again on Aug. 23.
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