Saturday, May 21, 2022

After failed attempts to allow regulated use, no domestic chickens for Oak Island, Boiling Spring Lakes

Sorry, chicken lovers. Both Oak Island and Boiling Spring Lakes have recently opted not to adopt new chicken codes that would have opened up domestic ownership inside municipal limits.

As suburban chickens gain popularity, local governments are figuring out how to regulate them. Oak Island is in the process of attempting to regulate domestic chickens in town limits. (Port City Daily/File photo)
As suburban chickens gain popularity, local governments are figuring out how to regulate them. Oak Island is in the process of attempting to regulate domestic chickens in town limits. (Port City Daily/File photo)

OAK ISLAND — Both Oak Island and Boiling Spring Lakes punted the opportunity to allow regulated domestic chickens inside municipal limits.

On Tuesday, Oak Island Town Council unanimously voted to adopt a livestock ordinance that bans keeping livestock in town limits, including fowl.

Related: Boiling Spring Lakes votes down chicken ordinance, code to remain the same

Council was presented with two options, both of which included a recommendation from the planning department that explicitly bans livestock — language that was overlooked when the town adopted its Unified Development Ordinance.

The second option — the option Council opted not to adopt — included the livestock ban, but outlined specific regulations for keeping domestic hens.

Consideration of small pigs was given, but according to planning board documents, was nixed after realizing “code enforcement staff would be placed in the odd position of determining the weight of a pet potbellied pig.”

Under the second option which would have allowed chickens, domestic chickens would be permitted on single-family lots that are at least 0.15-acres. Permits would have cost $50 for town residents to keep up to 10 female chickens in at least a 10-square-foot enclosure.

Coops would have been required to be constructed at least 15 feet from property lines and 25 feet from neighboring residences. Eggs, meat, or any other chicken-related product would not have been permitted to be sold for commercial use.

Two failed chicken codes

On June 3, after months of discussion, Boiling Spring Lakes voted down similar chicken-related regulations that would have opened up ownership in city limits.

Chickens are currently permitted in Boiling Spring Lakes’ R-6 zoning district, which has a minimum 5-acre lot size. This zoning requirement excludes a majority of the city’s residents.

Commissioners denied the ordinance amendment 4-1, with mayoral candidate and current pro-tem Steven Barger casting the lone vote in favor of the changes.

Barger has announced his candidacy for re-election on Facebook, but has yet to file, according to the Brunswick County Board of Elections candidate filing list updated Wednesday.


Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com

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