Backyard chickens concept hatched at Wautoma Common Council

A request to allow backyard chickens in Wautoma was incubating during the May 11 regular Common Council meeting at city hall.

City resident Molly Szymanski provided a diagram to the council that showed the structure the chickens would be kept in, along with a letter from her neighbors granting their permission for chickens next door.

City law currently allows no farm animals be kept in the city, but residents can apply for a variance, which could then be granted or denied by the city’s Board of Appeals after a public hearing.

Due to the $300 fee for applying for a variance, City Council member Patrick King suggested the city explore an ordinance change. Council member Ed Hernandez also suggested it’d be nice for people who want to raise chickens and outlined the main concern of ensuring neighbor approval as well as setting a limit on the number of birds.

Mayor John Nixon said the city of Madison’s chicken ordinance requires people to register with the state Department of Agriculture for free, and said he was unsure if Wautoma should consider the same requirement.

No action was taken regarding backyard chickens during the meeting.

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