ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The city of Ann Arbor is expanding its backyard chicken ordinance to allow hens to be kept and raised on school properties.

The City Council voted unanimously May 15 to give final approval to the ordinance changes proposed by Councilman Zachary Ackerman, according to the Ann Arbor News (http://bit.ly/2pWwiSk ).

Ackerman is working with a class at Summers-Knoll School that wants to build a chicken coop this fall. Teacher Chris Swinko and four of his students lobbied the council for the changes.

The city’s backyard chicken ordinance had permitted up to six hens to be raised on single-family and two-family residential properties. The changes now allow primary and secondary schools to raise chickens.

Ackerman says neighboring properties of a school will still need to be advised of its intent to raise chickens.

There are two types of permits that can be sought: a five-year permit allowing up to six hens and a one-year permit allowing up to two hens.

“No more than two chickens can be kept if any adjacent property owner objects, no roosters can be kept, and no chickens can be slaughtered,” Ackerman said when the City Council gave initial approval to the ordinance changes two weeks ago.

Chickens must be housed in an enclosed structure built in a backyard and in compliance with Ann Arbor’s fence ordinance.

Swinko has said raising a small flock of hens on school grounds provides teachers “with an excellent opportunity to engage students in authentic work where they are challenged to solve problems, understand systems and collaborate with each other and their community.”

“This opportunity encourages us to work with our hands, our minds, our hearts and each other,” he said.


Information from: The Ann Arbor News, http://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor

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