City considers allowing goats chickens in city limits

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by Mike Benner KGW

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 14 at 1:03 PM

FOREST GROVE - A controversy is brewing in Forest Grove because some neighbors want to be able to raise chickens and goats inside city limits, but others say that is not a good idea.

The issue will go before City Council on Monday.

Video: Livestock in city limits?

In the meantime, tucked away behind a fence, along a tree lined street in Forest Grove, five chickens roam freely. They were raised by 15-year-old Rose Buchanan.

"These eggs have a third less cholesterol and they have more vitamin E," said Buchanan. And chicken waste makes for a great fertilizer. "Chicken fecal matter is a lot better for the ground," added Buchanan.

Problem is, Rose and her parents are technically breaking the law. City code prohibits chickens and livestock in single family residential zones. It is something Rose has a difficult time comprehending. "They're not hurting anybody. They're only beneficial towards everything. They're sustainable," she said.

Sustainability happens to be the backbone of a movement now underway in Forest Grove. A group of neighbors is urging the City Council to amend the current ordinance to allow chickens, ducks, and small goats inside city limits. Rose's dad is already onboard. " To me a healthy neighborhood has sidewalks, people pushing strollers, cats, and it might have chickens," he said.

But longtime Forest Grove resident Bill Yates said he has his doubts about a new ordinance. "I'm not against any of it, but people won't take care of it," said Yates. Back over at the Buchanan's, however, that is not the case. And they hope they have the chance to prove that their chickens belong in the neighborhood.

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