Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Spotsy Planning Commission recommends fee for chicken owners

The Spotsylvania County Planning Commission voted tonight to recommend a $56 fee for chicken owners—pending approval of an ordinance that would allow more people to keep fowl.

The fee must be approved by the Board of Supervisors, which is scheduled next month to vote on a proposal that would allow people to have from two to six chickens in backyard coops in most residential areas.

The fee would not apply to people who can already have chickens legally. Currently, chickens in Spotsylvania are permitted only on lots of at least 5 acres in agricultural and rural zoning districts.

 Many homeowners associations already restrict fowl, and local ordinances will not override those rules.

Planning Commission member Richard Thompson cast the only vote against the fee, saying he wanted to see the impact of the new chicken policy before taxing the animals. “If this thing expands the way some people think it’s going to, it certainly will incur some work” and warrant a fee, he said.  But he added: “I just don’t believe we’ll have a stampede of people wanting to have these chickens.”

The fee is meant to offset the cost for the county to review and inspect chicken coops.

The Planning Commission in December recommended the proposal to loosen the county’s restrictions on chicken ownership. You can read that story here.