Iowa City council drops urban chickens

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The backyard chicken issue has flown the coop in Iowa City.

The majority of council members said at a work session last night that they wanted a proposal that would allow people to keep up to four chickens in their backyards removed from a list of pending agenda items, interim City Manager Dale Helling said.

A petition signed by several hundred people supporting so-called backyard or urban chickens was turned into the council this past summer.

Supporters say raising their own chickens is environmentally friendly and saves money. Opponents warn of possible noise and odor issues.

A split council last year said it would wait until at least the spring of 2010 to discuss the matter further, but the election of new council members Terry Dickens and Susan Mims has tipped the balanced firmly against the idea.

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