A proposal to allow people to raise backyard chickens in South Bend gained momentum, Tuesday, when the planning commission advanced the measure, with a recommendation of approval, to the common council.
A few dozen supporters from a local group called the Urban Chicken Alliance went before the commission to explain why hens wouldn’t be a nuisance.
“More people today care about living sustainably and more cities are rising to the occasion,” said Scott Palmer, a supporter, “it’s not just your Portlands -- it's Chicago, its Bloomington, Cincinnati, Dallas, the list goes on.”
Molly Kaniuga, of St. Joseph County, raises chickens on her property, which sits outside South Bend city limits.
She brought a dozen eggs for show-and-tell during the public hearing.
“All the food keeps going up and more people are interested in where their food comes from and trying to be a little self sustaining,” she said.
Under the proposed ordinance, homeowners who purchase a $20 permit would be allowed to keep up to six hens, no roosters. A volunteer “chicken police” would help make sure people are taking proper care of their birds and not disturbing neighbors.