James Island town council passes first readings of chicken amendments

James Island town council to discuss backyard chicken ordinance

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - James Island Town Council passed the first readings of two amendments regarding chickens in residential areas.

The first amendment council passed would impose a limit on the number of chickens residents can have.

Currently, residents are allowed one chicken for every 2500 square feet of land up to a limit of 12.

The second amendment passed would allow additional chickens by permit.

Both amendments will be sent to the planning commission for their recommendations which would eventually be released in their September meeting.

James Island Mayor Bill Woolsey says under a current ordinance the town does not permit chickens. However, it is legal for James Island residents to have them as pets and that's determined on a case by case basis.

The town is looking to move away from that approach with an ordinance that would allow people to own chickens, even if the chickens are not considered pets.

In the proposed ordinance, roosters would be prohibited and chickens would have to be confined to the back yard of a person's property. If an owner does not have a pen, coop or enclosure they would have to at least have the chickens fenced in.

The ordinance also specifies that the chickens must be kept in a healthy and sanitary matter. Town staff has recommended a six chicken limit on a single property, however the planning commission has advised the council to not impose a limit.

Town Council could look to allow the number of chickens allowable on someone's property to be determined by the amount of space they have.

Thursday night was the first reading of the ordinance and the guidelines can change based on what is discussed.

In order for an ordinance to become law it will have to pass two readings by the Town Council.

The next reading is set to happen in September.

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