Onalaska considering chickens in residential neighborhoods

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ONALASKA, Wis. (WEAU) -- An area city is considering whether to allow chickens in backyards of residential neighborhoods.

The city of Onalaska said it's gotten requests over the years to have chickens.

Right now chickens are only allowed in agricultural districts.

The city is also considering other aspects of urban agriculture such as raising rabbits, composting, bee keeping and selling produce.

Land use and development director Brea Grace said the city is putting together a public input survey.

She said the hope is to send that to the planning commission for review in mid August.

That survey will probably go out to the public in September or October.

“As issues are being raised about food security and just what animals are being fed, I think more people are wanting control over what they're eating,” said Grace.

However, Grace said there are some drawbacks to urban chickens such as noise, slaughtering and the potential of getting out.

She says the city could bring back some ordinance changes in October or November.

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