City Council approves ordinance allowing backyard chickens in Plano

The ordinance states that residents must be approved for a permit with the animal services department before owning chickens. (Courtesy of Adobe Stock)

Plano residents can now raise chickens in their own backyards after a new city ordinance was approved at the September 27 council meeting.

Council members voted 7-1 in favor of allowing backyard hens.

Jamey Cantrell, director of animal services, said the ordinance had the full support of the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee after meeting with various city departments and local residents.

“We came to a compromise which I thought was a good place to move forward,” Cantrell said.

Neighboring cities such as Dallas, Richardson, and Frisco already allow backyard hens.

The ordinance states that residents must be approved for a permit with the animal services department before owning chickens. To gain approval, an applicant must show proof of a suitable chicken coop, have written permission from the owner, complete a backyard hen care training course, and possibly comply with a home inspection.

The limit of 10 animals per residence is still in effect, Cantrell said.

“If you have five dogs, you can’t have more than five chickens,” he said.

The ordinance states that roosters and other birds, such as peacocks and ducks, would still be prohibited in residential areas of the city. Homeowners associations would still be allowed to ban chickens in neighborhoods they regulate, Cantrell said

Several residents attended the meeting to advocate for the authorization of backyard chickens in Plano.

“Raising chickens is no more disgusting than other animals,” resident Amanda Massengale said in a punful address to the council. “Citizens should be allowed to make this choice with their families. Plano hens will live in impeccable conditions.

Council members congratulated Cantrell and his staff for their work on the ordinance which dates back to June 2020 when Cantrell presented an information report on the potential impact that backyard chickens could have on the operations of the Services. animal keepers.

Council member Rick Grady voted as sole opposition to the ordinance. He said the ordinance was well written but having grown up around chickens on a farm he could not support the proposed change.

“We’re talking about it as a property right for 200 homeowners who would love chickens in their backyard, and let’s forget about all the 73,800 other homeowners who might not want to have chickens,” he said. “It’s a waste of taxpayer money that we are doing on this. I know I am in the absolute minority here and I will lose all political poultry votes on this issue. “

Council also adopted a 7-1 zoning change in support of the new by-law.

The approved changes to the Animal Services Ordinance can be viewed here.