Belle Plaine considers lifting ban on urban chickens

City passed ordinance in 1977 banning chickens in city limits

You can count Belle Plaine among the Iowa cities and towns clucking about the possibility of allowing urban chickens.

The Belle Plaine City Council discussed the idea of allowing people in town to raise chickens during a work session Monday night. A citizen brought up the idea for the council to consider.

City Administrator Bill Daily said the council seems divided on the issue, which resulted in a lengthy discussion Monday night.

Belle Plaine allowed backyard chickens until 1977, when the city banned them. Daily says the city is researching what prompted that ban as they consider whether to lift it.

Urban chickens have become a popular topic in Iowa amid the growing popularity of homegrown and organic food. Cedar Rapids began allowing small flocks of backyard chickens in city limits in 2010, and Iowa City approved urban chickens this past December.

There is no official proposal in Belle Plaine yet, and the council took no official action at Monday's meeting. Daily says the issue will likely come up again at the city council's next work session on April 15.

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