Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

September 17, 2013

Chickens get final approval

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville — Final approval was given Monday night to allow Knoxville residents to raise chickens within City limits. 

The first reading of the ordinance was approved, and the second and third readings waived, which will allow residents to keep up to five chickens per family dwelling. This ordinance is in response to a request from a few residents who want to raise chickens. 

Council was unsure of the level of success this ordinance would have. Included in the ordinance is a sunset provision, which means that the ordinance will expire Oct. 16, 2014. If no action is taken to extend the ordinance beyond that date, those in possession of chickens will have 90 days to remove them. 

The poll on our website regarding this issue, at the time of this post, was 130 "yes" votes to 117 "no". 

The vote to approve the chicken ordinance was 4-1, with Councilor Tim Pitt voting against. 

In other council action, the first step toward allowing off-road utility vehicles on City streets was taken. The ordinance would allow drivers to operate these vehicles on City streets during the day, if the licensed driver is 18, all road laws are followed, the vehicle is properly insured and includes a slow moving vehicle sign. 

"I think it's a good compromise," Police Chief Dan Losada said. Losada hoped that all three readings of the ordinance could have been done last night, but the only action on the published agenda was to approve the first reading. 

Other council notes: 

• Approved the appointment of Park Woodle to the Board of Adjustment.

• Approved the appointment of Aimee Swanson to the Cemetery Advisory Board.

• Approved the appointment of Jim Mitchell as fire chief.

• Approved a plat of survey request for a parcel split by the Duinink Family Trust for property located outside the City limits. 

• Adjourned to closed session to discuss litigation.