Council votes chickens welcome in Carbondale

Council votes chickens welcome in Carbondale

By Sharon Wittke

Chickens may soon be roosting in the backyards of Carbondale. Roosters, however, will not.

Legislation allowing chickens within city limits passed with a 6 to 1 vote at the Carbondale City Council meeting Tuesday night, and the council discussed fiscal year 2013 funding requests from more than a dozen nonprofit community organizations.

Under the revised ordinance, the city will approve no more than 20 chicken coop licenses, and individuals may keep up to six chickens for egg production.


“No roosters allowed,” said Mayor Joel Fritzler.

Council members discussed increasing the number of chicken coop licenses but agreed to address the issue after one year.

“If it’s working out well, that limit of 20 can be raised at a future time,” Councilman Don Monty said.

Applications for chicken coop licenses will be available at City Hall on April 1.

The council’s action culminated nearly two years of work by the city’s sustainability council and the planning commission.  Members of both committees researched other communities’ chicken regulations.

“There are literally hundreds of cities in the United States that allow chickens to be raised,” said Councilman Lee Fronabarger.

Councilwoman Corene McDaniel cast the sole vote against the proposal.  She said when people figure out the cost of building coops and maintaining chickens, they will realize they can go to the local farmer’s market and buy their eggs for less.


She also said people won’t know what to do with all the eggs once the chickens start producing them.

“I grew up with chickens, I raised chickens and I know about chickens,” McDaniel said.

Council members also discussed at the meeting, funding requests from nonprofit community organizations, and members from those groups voiced their support for the funding they receive from the city.

Fritzler proposed reallocating more than $100,000 from the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau to help support other civic organizations.

He said he would like to provide some of that money to Carbondale Community Arts, Carbondale Main Street and the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, among others.

Fritzler said the city’s funding for Carbondale Main Street has been whittled back over the past few years and that an attractive Main Street enhances the impression visitors form of the whole city.

Carbondale Main Street director Meghan Cole said she would put the additional money toward landscaping the downtown area. She said the funding was long overdue.

Fritzler said he’d also like to use reallocated funds to employ a full-time street sweeper and to pay overtime to police officers for special events, both official and unofficial.

Debbie Moore, the executive director of the Carbondale Convention and Tourism Bureau, said she came prepared to make a presentation about CCTB’s funding and to answer questions. She presented reasons why she thought funding for CCTB should remain at the same level.

She said her organization helped Carbondale increase the amount of money it received from tourism through its aggressive marketing program.

“That’s really what we’re all about — marketing to the outside world,” Moore said.

The council approved the new labor agreement between the city and the police department and approved the city’s reimbursement to Coleman Rental Properties for a portion of the cost of remodeling and construction of a 2,400 square feet addition at 210 East Walnut Street.