NEWBERRY — Zoning ordinance changes will now mean residential areas R-10, R-8, and R-6 will be limited to the keeping of six hens and no roosters on their properties as decided by the Planning Commission Monday.
Ward Braswell, director of Planning, Zoning, and Development, said he had received a request from someone in the R-10 district to keep chickens on her property.
The zoning ordinance change would allow property owners to keep the hens in their yard.
Braswell said when looking up ordinances for other parts of the state, they varied widely in what was allowed. Some places required a permit, but the city would then have to hire someone to check each yard, which would be cumbersome.
Robert Summer, member of the planning commission, said he thought six hens was plenty.
“Most places say six hens, and no roosters,” Braswell said.
The ordinance change was approved unanimously.
To make each zoning district uniform, Braswell said that the same restrictions would be put on residential areas R-6 and R-8 which currently do not have a limit on poultry that can be kept in a yard.
Residential district R-10 is a low density residential area with a minimum lot size of 10,000 square feet. Area R-6 covers the most area and is high density residential. With a minimum lot size of 8,000 square feet, area R-8 does not have a lot of residents, according to Braswell.
The Planning Commission also approved a zoning ordinance change that now requires the group to conduct public hearings rather than them being conducted by City Council.
Braswell said City Manager Al Harvey told him the Planning Commission conducted public hearings around 1999 before they were given to City Council. Braswell recommended they change the wording to either/or in the ordinance so either group could perform public hearings.
“It gives people an opportunity to speak and it’s done before council meets,” Braswell said. “It takes the heat off of City Council.”
Member Connie Rinehart suggested they simply change it so that the Planning Commission is the only group to conduct public hearings.
Members voted unanimously to change the wording.