Following an hour-long public hearing Sept. 7, the Lovettsville Planning Commission is looking for more options on regulations that would govern backyard chickens.
The commission is working to establish authority to permit residents to keep livestock or fowl in town while also setting standards designed to limit the impact on neighbors. While the draft rules cover everything from buffalo to swine, the focus has been on chickens, an increasingly popular brand of suburban husbandry.
Speakers at the hearing said the requirements would unfairly exclude smaller properties from having chickens and urged town leaders to consider the benefits of the birds—from their taste for eating invasive bugs to the health benefits of home-grown food.
Commissioners asked Town Planner John Merrithew to come back with ideas to tweak the regulations at a future meeting.
“We’re not coming after your chickens,” Merrithew assured the crowd, saying that existing flocks would be grandfathered and not impacted by the changes.
Commissioners noted more people came out to speak on that issue, than the recent hearings on efforts to update the town’s comprehensive plan.