D.C. Didn't Want Your Dirty Chickens Anyway!

But roosters, that's another story

By Jim Iovino
|  Thursday, Oct 1, 2009  |  Updated 7:07 PM EDT
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D.C. Chickens: They're Not Illegal

One family living in a Capitol Hill home thought they could have chickens as pets. And they can, but there are some restrictions. And lawmakers are considering relaxing them.
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Remember the story from early September about the two little girls who desperately wanted to play with their pet chickens, only to see evil government officials crush their dreams like some salty chicken patty product at a processing plant?

Well, it turns out that The Man may not want to rule the roost in D.C. after all.

The D.C. Council is considering a bill that would ease restrictions on raising chickens in the District. Chickens are starting to become an urban hipster phenomenon across the country, but they are currently banned within 50 feet of homes in D.C.

Councilman Tommy Wells, apparently trying to jump on the chicken trend bandwagon, is proposing a bill that would allow chickens if an owner gets his or her neighbors' blessings for the birds.

Roosters, however, would still be banned.

Wells drafted the bill on behalf of the family in his district whose eight hens were recently confiscated by animal control officers.

His bill would require 80 percent of the households within 100 feet of a proposed coop to provide their written consent. If one neighbor squawks, there can be no hens. Homeowners must also get annual permits and meet sanitary requirements.

So if the chickens clean up their act and remain on their best behavior, they may be able to call Capitol Hill their home once more. 

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