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Chicken ordinance approved
Riverton city administrator Steven Weaver, left, lifted his egg-print necktie to show his T-shirt portraying two chickens. Public services director Bill Urbigkit wore a chicken-shaped hat to celebrate the passing of an ordinance allowing chickens within Riverton city limits. Photo by Alejandra Silva

Chicken ordinance approved

Feb 20, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The City of Riverton has made a final deal with chickens.

After language amendments on a city ordinance passed at the regular city council meeting Tuesday, live chickens now are allowed to be raised or owned within Riverton city limits.

The idea was presented initially by council member Todd Smith, who said many people already own chickens in the city but are unaware that they are illegal. Changing the code would allow families to raise chickens for the consumption of eggs.

After months of deliberation, changes in the wording in ordinances, and city staff recommendations, the council voted 6-1 to pass it. Councilwoman Mary Ellen Christensen voted against it.

The new ordinance allows city residents to own up to 12 chickens per home but no roosters. Chickens must have space no less than 9 square feet in an area and a height of no less than 2 feet. The pens must be placed within 15 feet of the property line unless, the ordinance reads, "the owners of said residences waive this requirement."

It continues to read, "Enclosures, fences or pens for chickens are allowed within Riverton city limits provided they are kept clean and in good repair."

Actions to be taken if the chickens become a nuisance also are included in the ordinance.

Amusing remarks and laughter from council members, staff and residents brought a less-than-serious tone to the issue.

"Set my people free," said public services director Bill Urbigkit as he placed a plush chicken hat on his head.

"I'm just delighted that we finally put the chickens to rest," Mayor Ron Warpness said.

Related content:
Riverton City Council