The decision to allow chickens in Cedarburg isn't cooked yet, but it may need more time in the kitchen.
The Cedarburg Common Council made recommendations to the city attorney at the Feb. 27 meeting regarding regulations that would allow residents to keep domesticated chickens in their backyard. The discussion first began at the Jan. 30 meeting, with most council members and the general public seemingly in favor of approval.
Chicken owners in Cedarburg have spoken highly of their feathered friends based on fresh eggs, natural ambiance and an emotional attachment equivalent to dogs and cats.
Prior to this being brought to the attention of the council, most chicken owners and their neighbors were under the impression of a "don't ask, don't tell" policy when it came to their backyard coops. Recommended guidelines include limiting the number of chickens to four per household, keeping the chickens enclosed in a fenced-in area, and maintaining sanitary conditions so as to avoid smells.
The Feb. 27 meeting also brought up added regulations such as respecting the rules of subdivisions in the area that may have separate rules that prohibit chickens. Council member Jack Arnett also wished to clear up any confusion regarding chicken owners living in the historic district.
"We're looking to possibly grandfather in certain residents who may have chickens in areas of the city that would restrict ownership under the new regulations," said Arnett.
The date for final approval of these regulations has not been set and will be dependent on the completion of changes made by the city attorney.