Columbus City Council considering whether chickens can be kept within city limits

Chickens are not yet allowed to be kept inside of Columbus City limits, but there is a chance that an ordinance change may allow them in the near-future. However, any potential changes won’t be addressed for another three months.

The Columbus City Council heard arguments from both sides of the issue during its meeting Tuesday night. Back in August, the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) reversed a decision made last spring by a Code Enforcement Officer citing a pair residents for having the birds within city limits. In overturning that decision, the BZA also said that city residents could keep up to four chickens as pets. Under the ordinance, as written, farm animals can only be kept if the property they are on is in excess of five-acres. At issue is the designation “farm animals” versus “domestic animals.” Some owners of chickens say that their birds are pets, just like a cat or a dog. The BZA said they were hopeful that the City Council would address the issue to determine whether or not chickens could be considered domestic animals.

The Council ultimately decided to take the matter under advisement. The members said that they would hold further discussions on the matter, with plans to officially address the issue by late February. Once that is concluded and they have more input from the community, the Council, which will feature three new members, as well as a new Mayor, will decide how to move forward.