Chickens may become lawful backyard pets for Kenai residents after Wednesday’s council meeting.
“I’m so excited,” Nancy Schrag said. “I first heard about backyard chickens from people in Portland (Ore.), and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, cities let you have them ... why can’t Kenai?’”
If the ordinance sponsored by Council Member Mike Boyle passes, it will allow Kenai residents to raise no more than 12 chickens on their properties within city limits for non-commercial uses.
Schrag said she is excited because the ordinance’s passage would allow her to produce fresh eggs. That is something she has wanted to do for a long time, she said.
“I’m all into being as self-sustainable as possible and want a community that’s as self-sustainable as possible, because that makes it more resilient to outside factors,” she said.
Schrag said Kenai residents already supply themselves locally with a lot of their meat through fishing and hunting, so eggs would be a great addition.
Kenai Feeds Owner Sarah Donchi said she has only heard support for the ordinance. No one has complained to her.
“The biggest thing would be if someone had a rooster that was making noise,” she said.
The ordinance does not allow for the ownership of roosters in city limits, however.
“I know they passed it in Anchorage a while back; I heard a lot of good things about that,” she said.
When Boyle was researching the idea he said he found that many other cities — Manhattan, Juneau — also allow the raising of chickens within city limits, so he wondered: Why not Kenai?
“It just seems like a practical thing, and I’m really actually pleasantly surprised that it’s more popular an idea that I even thought it would be,” he said.
If council members pass the ordinance, city residents can begin their chicken operations as soon as Dec. 21.
“I’m really hoping that enough support is shown that this ordinance goes through and becomes law,” Schrag said.
The council will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Kenai City Hall, 210 Fidalgo Ave.
Dan Schwartz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.