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BE votes to allow chickens

By Staff | Oct 27, 2019

By a unanimous vote at last Monday night’s meeting, the Blue Earth City Council passed an ordinance that will allow chickens to be kept inside the city limits.

It was the second reading of the ordinance at a city meeting, which meant it could then be approved by the council.

The ordinance will have to be published in the city’s official newspaper, the Faribault County Register, for two weeks and so will become official in about 30 days, said David Frundt, the city attorney.

The council spent some time discussing the ordinance before making a motion to accept it.

One of the discussion points centered on the requirement that all adjoining property owners must agree to allow a permit to be issued.

The owners of the chickens would also have to get a permit each and every year, and each year the neighbors would have to approve it.

Councilman Glenn Gaylord thought there should be some sort of an appeal process added to the ordinance.

“What if there is one neighbor who doesn’t like the guy with the chickens, and just says no,” Gaylord said. “I think that kind of issue should be brought to the council.”

However, the council decided not to add an appeal process at this time, unless it becomes necessary.

Also noted was that there are set back requirements for the coops, and also if there are no houses within 150 feet of the property lines of the residence which has chickens, then the applicant does not have to get the neighbors to agree to allow the chickens.

The council also did not set a fee for the permit allowing chickens at last night’s meeting.

City administrator Tim Ibisch said all the city’s fees will be set for 2020 during a January meeting and the chicken permit fee can be set at that time for next year.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the council:

Had the first reading of a land sale ordinance which would sell lots in the new housing development to both the city’s HRA and a Mankato company named APX Construction Group.

The lots are in the cul-de-sac area of the housing development.

Spent some time discussing the comparisons of purchasing versus leasing city-owned vehicles.

Mayor Rick Scholtes presented a proposal to lease the city vehicles through Enterprise Rent-A-Car company. There could be savings to the city, he said.

Scholtes, Ibisch and Tim Stoner of Blue Earth Light and Water will meet with a representative of Enterprise later this week to discuss the possible leasing opportunity.

Briefly discussed hemp being dried in a building in Blue Earth. The operation is covered by a USDA permit and the City Code does not specifically allow it or not allow it, the council learned.