Cobb County to hear case on allowing backyard chickens

Cobb County to hear case on allowing backyard chickens

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COBB COUNTY, Ga. -

An east Cobb County man on a year-long crusade to return chickens to his backyard presented his case on Tuesday before the county commission.

Back in 2011, Joseph Pond had 11 baby chicks in his backyard because his spouse had a hankering for poultry.

"My wife wanted fresh eggs," Pond said.

But Pond soon discovered he was violating a 40-year-old county ordinance that says you must have more than two acres of property to own livestock. He only has about a half-acre. Curiously, his pot-bellied pig fully complies with county law.

"Why should the county get involved and interfere with wanting to own a hen or a duck and building a chicken. To me that's insane," said Pond.

Pond formed the Backyard Chicken Alliance and says he's gathered nearly 3,000 signatures of people who want poultry in their backyards.

The county listened.

 "The group is overjoyed that Commissioner Ott and Commissioner Goreham stepped up to the plate and said this 40-year-old ordinance needs to be changed," Pond said.

The community development agency was ordered to draft an ordinance for commissioners to consider. It would allow chickens on land that's less than two acres that could be voted on by the board.

Cobb County Community Development Director Rob Hosack's office drafted the ordinance.

"They would have to go through a permit process that would involve some public hearings. But eventually they would be allowed to maintain livestock on less than two acres if the proposal goes through," Hosack said.

The first public hearing on the new backyard chicken law takes took place on Tuesday at the Cobb County commission meeting. A second public hearing will take place next month, when commissioners will likely vote on the issue.

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