This past Monday, city resident Eren Williams asked aldermen for a variation on the ordinance allowing chickens.
Williams, who lives on East Lafayette in northeast Jacksonville, says she received a notice of an ordinance violation on June 2nd. She told City Council she’s had the chickens for several years, and some neighbors have had them, also.
“I want them to change the ordinances, because the way they’re written right now, it’s 200 feet from each and every neighbor around the chickens, and that’s almost impossible to do in town,” she says. “So, the law pretty much is written that even though you give an option, it’s not possible.”
Williams says there are plenty of benefits to owning the poultry.
“In the beginning, it was for my son. He has a rare disability and actually, ‘chicken’ was one of his first words, and words were hard to come by with him. But, after that, it got me out of the house a lot- I have a disability, I sit way too much, and that’s been very therapeutic for me,” says Williams.
“It’s really good to be self-sufficient, to be green, to be able to go organic if you want to- you don’t have to use pesticides like all the bigger chicken companies do- there’s just so many reasons, I can’t list them all,” she adds.
Ward 1 Alderman Bill Scott cautioned Williams that he had received phone calls from residents complaining about chickens.
City Council previously decided in committee not to expand the allowance of chickens within city limits in April. Alderman Steve Warmowski suggested bringing up the issue when committee assignments are handed out, as several new aldermen have been introduced to the council since.
In the meantime, Mayor Andy Ezard told Williams not to worry about the ordinance violation notice until aldermen address the issue in the future.