RATHDRUM - Rathdrum is about to hatch a new chicken law.
The city council has unanimously directed staff to prepare an ordinance that will allow a limited number of chickens on lots less than an acre. The council is expected to approve the law at its Dec. 11 meeting.
"We are looking at around 10 as a limit," said Brett Boyer, city administrator. "There would be a requirement that they be contained and that a coop would meet a setback requirement."
No roosters would be allowed.
The decision came after 10-year-old Alyson Chatterton requested that the city change the law so she could raise chickens for a 4-H project.
Chatterton said she's thankful the council considered her request and is happy she can proceed with her project.
About two years ago, the council decided not to change the law after another resident came forward. It also opted to not revisit the law several months ago at Mayor Vic Holmes' request.
But no problems in area cities where chickens are allowed on smaller lots, including in Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene, made the Rathdrum council's decision easier.
"After the council considered the issue more than a year ago they talked about observing what is happening in other cities in the area to see what issues arise," Boyer said. "It has been very quiet with no issues that we are aware of in the other cities as it relates to chickens."
Rathdrum has allowed an unlimited number of chickens on lots that are an acre or larger, but a limit will likely be specified now.
"They asked us to come up with a number for that and handle it as well at the same time," Boyer said.