Chicken ordinance ruffles feathers in Berkeley County

Published: Nov. 25, 2014 at 3:40 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 25, 2014 at 3:51 AM EST
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BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Discussion and debate over whether chickens should be allowed on residential properties ruffled some feathers Monday night at Berkeley County Council.

As the county ordnance stands, it is against the law to have chickens on any property zoned residential.

Monday, county officials passed the first reading of an ordinance that would allow chickens at homes that are on a minimum of three-fourths of an acre or 30,000 square feet.

Mary Hudson, who lives in Pimlico Plantation, has had six hens for about eight months. She says it has changed the way her family eats and lives.

"It really blows my mind when you can go to the store and buy things like Mountain Dew and Cocoa Puffs and that's ok, but having a couple of chickens in your backyard that give your fresh, clean good food is wrong. Something is not right."

While Hudson is in violation of the existing ordinance, no citations have been issued yet. County council will consider lowering the minimum land requirement at a committee meeting next month.

"Right now, it is illegal to have them in any residential property," explains council member Tim Callanan. "So, to say we are diving in there and stripping away someone's rights, we are doing the opposite."

A second reading will be in January.