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Appleton council decision on chicken ordinance delayed

A chicken in Fox Crossing on April 5th, 2017. (WLUK/Alexa Santos)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- A resolution to allow chickens in the City of Appleton was stalled at Wednesday’s city council meeting.

There were several people in favor of the ordinance at the meeting, but ultimately, city officials were not ready to make a decision.

Chickens and humans coexist happily at Elise Hallock’s Fox Crossing residence.

Hallock said, "Having chickens is really great for us personally. It provides us with a really great source of ethical protein, that we have a lot of control over with the eggs."

In Fox Crossing, up to four chickens are allowed in coops. But whether or not to allow chickens in nearby Appleton has been a lengthy debate.

Shannon Kenevan, a cofounder of “City Peeps”, said, "It’s tough partly because we see so many cities around us in the Fox Cities and around Wisconsin having chickens and doing well."

Kenevan is an advocate for allowing chickens in the city of Appleton.

"We know people in other cities that have chickens and they're great pets. They're far less problematic than other pets we allow in the city, it's just hard to get people over that hurdle that a chicken can make a good pet," Kenevan said.

But Alderperson Cathy Spears says she hasn’t been hearing that support from her constituents.

"My constituents overwhelmingly called me and told me they didn’t want chickens," Spears said.

Spears also notes concerns about health.

"I also studied public health for many years, and being interested in public health, I know there have been a lot of outbreaks because of chickens and backyard chickens," she said.

Hallock says she thinks these concerns are a misunderstanding, and that she wouldn’t live in Appleton if her chickens couldn’t come with her.

"They're such a huge part of how we cook, how we connect with our food, how we connect with our neighbors and our community, and I wouldn’t want to be without them." Hallock said.

The item will be discussed at the next council meeting in two weeks.

By then, two new alderpersons will be on the council.

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