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Appleton approves backyard chickens, interest remains in Kaukauna

Backyard chicken coup. File photo.
Backyard chicken coup. File photo.

KAUKAUNA – Now that Appleton has approved an ordinance allowing backyard chickens, interest remains strong among some Kaukauna residents to allow them here.

After two hours of debate on April 19, 2017, the Appleton City Council adopted a set of rules and passed the ordinance by an 8-6 vote.

Calls for permits and information on permits started coming into City Hall Thursday morning, according to a news release.

According to a post on the city of Appleton website:

Residents may keep up to four hens. A plan showing the size and location of the chicken coop and chicken run must be submitted to the Health Department along with a $145 pre-inspection fee. Each year the permit needs to be renewed at a cost of $24. Three square feet of space is required for each chicken. The chicken run can be no greater than 24 square feet.

Coop and chicken run placement shall be at a minimum of, but not limited to, a 3-foot setback from side and rear yard lot lines. If not attached to accessory structure such as detached garage or shed, coop placement must be a minimum of 10 feet from any structure on the parcel. In addition, coops shall not be closer than twenty-five feet to a residential dwelling, church, school or business on an abutting lot.

Once an application is received by the Appleton Health Department, residents living adjacent to the applicant will be notified and can object within 14 business days. If any neighbor objects to the application, the application is automatically denied. Though the applicant can appeal the decision to the Safety & Licensing Committee.

In March, a post March 7, 2017 on the city of Kaukauna website said the Health and Recreation Committee was reviewing a request from a few interested residents who had asked the committee to consider allowing raising chickens within the city limits.

The current ordinance code Section 11.12 prohibits the keeping of chickens within the city limits.

Residents were asked to post their comments on the city’s Facebook page HERE. More than 30 comments have been posted so far, and most are supportive of some type of ordinance.

“Definitely support being able to have chickens. Guidelines such as must be contained in a fenced area that is maintained, a limited number , etc would be needed. I see nothing wrong with this . People should have more freedoms to decide what they want to do on their property,” one resident wrote on the Facebook page.

However, another commenter wrote, “A question I would raise is what does anybody need chickens in their yard for in the first place? Certainly not for companionship. Not for profit. If somebody wants to run a farm, they should move out to the country and start a farm.”

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Dan Plutchak
Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.
https://www.facebook.com/KaukaunaCommunityNews
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