Plano Welcomes Chickens 

After months of deliberation regarding backyard chickens in Plano, the city council members have finally decided to allow it according to a Plano Star Courier article from September 27. They say, 

“Plano residents will now be allowed to domesticate backyard chickens “with reasonable regulations.”

In a Monday meeting, the Plano City Council voted 7-1 in favor of two ordinances that effectively legalized and set regulations for the domestication of backyard hens. The first ordinance repealed previous restrictions on backyard hens that have drawn continued protest from property rights activists. The repealed ordinance was first enacted in 2016 and has been an impetus for backyard hens advocacy in Plano. 

The second ordinance was a set of zoning regulations that were previously recommended by the Plano Planning and Zoning Commission in an Aug. 16 meeting. The zoning regulations, which Plano City Council previously tabled to Monday’s meeting, put in place a mandated minimum square footage of chicken coops in residential properties, among other things.”

FAQs regarding the new ordinances were posted and listed in a Dallas Morning News article from September 27 ,

What are the requirements for coops?

Owners can let hens roam the yard during daylight hours under adult supervision, and coops or enclosures must:

Be located behind a fence at least 6 feet high and meet distance requirements from neighboring buildings (20 feet for enclosures of up to five animals, 50 feet for enclosures of up to 10).

Have at least 4 square feet of space for each hen.

Have an attached exercise yard with at least 8 square feet of space per hen.

Protect the hens from inclement weather, insect bites, and attacks by other animals.

Have at least 10 inches of roosting space for each hen and one nesting box for every four hens.

Do I need a permit to own hens?

Residents need to apply for a permit and pay a fee determined by the council. The application must include:

Floor plans and side elevations for the proposed enclosure or the manufacturer, model, and size of a commercially available coop.

A site drawing showing the proposed location for the enclosure that includes all property lines, building lines, setbacks, and other structures on the property.

Written, notarized authorization from the property owner, if it’s someone other than the applicant, allowing backyard hens.

Proof of completing an educational course approved by the Animal Services Department on backyard hen care and sanitation.”

Notably, the ordinance was also made possible through the effort and support of other departments and committees of the city according to a Community Impact Newspaper article from September 27,   

“Jamey Cantrell, director of Animal Services, said the ordinance had full support of the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee after meeting with various city departments and local residents.

“We came to a compromise that I felt was a pretty good place for us to move forward with,” Cantrell said.”

With the new ordinances in implementation, people in Plano can finally own chickens. Currently, Plano has joined cities like Frisco, Richardson, and Dallas in the allowing of backyard hens.

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