Have you been following the twists and turns of the Bremerton
chicken saga? The latest development in efforts by poultry
promoters to legalize the keeping of hens (no roosters thank you,
too noisy) within the city limits is that the ball may be sailing
back into the city council’s court.
As the Kitsap Sun’s
intrepid chicken reporter reported today, “the council’s Public
Safety and Parks Committee held a special meeting Wednesday and
discussed details of an ordinance that would allow city residents
to have up to four hens. The proposed ordinance also would
establish rules for how they would be housed and how their effect
on neighbors could be lessened.”
A chicken-legalization ordinance that could go before the full
council as early as next month.
Meanwhile, the city of Port Orchard has been wrestling with its
own resolution related to birds, in this case parrots, macaws,
cockatiels and other such feathered friends.
Responding to complaints about “feathers, fleas and (animal)
feces” at the city’s Active Club, city officials drafted an
ordinance barring animals from the building, among other new
In July, members of the Olympic Bird Fanciers pleaded with the
council to reverse their position on animals. Sue Marshall of the
club cited the numerous educational events the bird fanciers put
on, teaching bird owners about proper care and training. She said
she had spoken to other groups who lease the building and that they
were in favor of letting the birds (and other animals) back in, at
In August, the city council entertained the bird fanciers’
request and approved an ordinance repealing the previous ordinance,
with conditions. First, any group wishing to have animals must
submit a petition from all other users showing their assent.
Second, any complaints and the animals would have to leave.
Voting against the ordinance were Fred Olin, who chairs the
public property committee, and Carolyn Powers, also on the
committee. Powers, at one point, said the ordinance would seem to
open up a Pandora’s box, so to speak.
“They’re not defining what animals they could bring in,” she
said. “Goats, snakes, there’s nothing in here that says they
couldn’t bring anything.”
“We thought we couldn’t discriminate,” Public Works Director
Mark Dorsey replied.
“What, have you got something against cows and horses?” Clauson
Dorsey was serious (at least he appeared so). Clauson was
Olin and Powers said they were against the ordinance because it
was a reversal of a position the council had taken after long and
So far, the reversal is a moot point. I checked with Dorsey
today, and he said no animal group has submitted a petition.
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