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County OKs chicken coops, beehives in residential areas

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By Ramsey Scott

A proposal to allow chicken coops and beekeeping in Jeffco has soared over its final hurdle. 

The county commissioners voted 3-0 to allow citizens in unincorporated residential areas to keep up to six chickens and two beehives on properties of at least 4,000 square feet. 

Originally, the proposal would have allowed one hive for every 4,000 square feet, but the planning staff made the change after feedback from several beekeepers. 

Along with the lot-size requirement, residents must get a permit from the county. Any eggs or honey produced couldn’t be sold, and no slaughtering of chickens will be permitted at homes. 

Commissioner Don Rosier questioned whether that was a necessary restriction, considering it’s legal for hunters to butcher wild game at their homes. 

But planning staff said the rule was in consideration of health standards and neighbors. Unlike with wild game, which is killed away from a residence, chickens being killed in a backyard could disturb neighbors. 

The commissioners considered changing the setback requirements to ensure coops would not cause noise and odor problems for neighbors but decided to go with the planning staff’s recommendations. 

They did say that, if necessary, they can fine-tune the regulations if issues arise.

 

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine.