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General News

Posted on: March 28, 2018

Updated urban ag ordinance draft now available for comment

backyard chickens

An updated draft of an urban agriculture ordinance – focusing on allowing residential hens – is on the table and available for public review.


The original draft of this ordinance was presented to the City Commission last spring, after about 18 months of public engagement. This new version offers a few changes.


The draft is available on the city’s website, battlecreekmi.gov. Scroll down the home page to the City Spotlight section.


This ordinance will on the City Commission agenda for introduction at the regular, April 17 meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 10 N. Division St. If commissioners approve this, the draft ordinance will move to a public hearing, with a final vote possible at a May commission meeting.


Changes to this draft are:

  • It would allow only hens – no roosters. No goats, bees, or rabbits would be allowed (this was discussed previously). The ordinance still refers to allowable “livestock,” so that any future changes to the ordinance would require minimal changes.
  • The city would issue a maximum of 20 licenses to keep hens. Limiting the number of licenses allows time for staff to determine demand, and evaluate conditions around this issue. This is just over 0.1 percent of the number of single- and two-family residential parcels in the city.
    • The 20 licenses would be available to those living in any geography in the city.
    • After one year, staff can evaluate the impact of the ordinance, and change the number of hens allowed, or eliminate hens completely, but provide that those keeping hens in a lawful manner can continue.

View more information on urban agriculture in the city at our website, www.battlecreekmi.gov. Under Your Government, navigate to Community Services, Planning & Zoning, then scroll down to Urban Agriculture. Several documents are available, including the results of our public survey on these topics.

Can’t make it to a meeting? Please share your feedback, ideas and comments with our planning staff, 269-966-3320, or at PublicInput@battlecreekmi.gov.

Direct link to draft urban ag ordinance
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