Charlotte County officials considering changing rules for chicken ban

Reporter: Erika Jackson
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

It may not matter at your home, but what if your neighbor got a chicken as a pet?

Charlotte County’s ban of chickens on residential property is ruffling feathers, and some are pushing for a rules change.

We asked you on Facebook if you thought this was a good idea. Most of you agreed to allow it.

“They are our pets. My kids love them. They would be devastated if we had to get rid of them,” said Melissa Aniskewicz.

Right now, they’re only allowed on agricultural land or on single-family properties if the kids there are 4H or FFA members.

Aniskewicz is fighting for others in the county who want to keep them as pets.

“I still think that there’s a lot of education that needs to take place,” she said.

Lee County and Cape Coral ban urban chicken keeping, but it’s legal in Fort Myers and North Port.

Charlotte Commissioners want to draft an ordinance with special rules, like specifying coup size, distance from property lines and a limit on the number of birds per property.

But first, they want to learn more about the possibility of disease, rodents, and input from neighbors before enforcing something similar.

“At this time we are not seeing an increase in population risk due to chickens as pets in Charlotte County,” said Health Office of Charlotte County Joseph Pepe.

Charlotte County 7 Year Associated Diseases

“I am very interested in trying to make something work but I am also very aware that we have to put a lot of protective barriers around this,” said Charlotte County Commissioner Bill Truex.

Some county leaders argue the discussion is a waste of time.

“Do we really wanna put ourselves through this for just a couple dozen people,” asked Commissioner Stephen R. Deutsch.

“There’s more than just a couple of dozen people that want chickens,” replied Aniskewicz. “If all of the neighboring counties have done it, I think we can do it too.”

A fight for farm fowl to keep them as part of the family.

Charlotte County staff will now work with its legal team to draft the ordinance. Then, it will be presented to the planning and zoning board before commissioners can give final approval.


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