Neighbors in Washington Terrace pushing for ordinance to allow chickens

Aug 10, 2022, 6:26 PM | Updated: 7:27 pm

WASHINGTON TERRACE, Utah — Some homeowners in Weber County are asking for a rule change regarding chickens.

The Washington Terrace Backyard Chicken Alliance wants to be able to keep backyard chickens they say the city told them they could have. Now, they’re being told it’s illegal in the city.

Some of the chicken owners KSL TV spoke to Wednesday said they get an average of three eggs a day — eggs they don’t have to refrigerate and keep longer.

A city leader said he understands the desire to have chickens, but Washington Terrace isn’t the place to do it.

“Come here, little one,” Becky Parr said to her hen named Pebbles.

Pebbles, Morticia and Ginger are more than just hens; they’re a living lesson.

“It’s the ability to teach my kids where food comes from, that food doesn’t just come out of a box or a can,” she said.

These Washington Terrace homeowners say they’re passionate about their backyard livestock.

“Means a lot for your family, for stability, for security,” Amanda Hartley said.

Hartley was cited for owning hens.

“I sent a message to our code enforcement officer in March, and he said we could have three hens, no roosters. So, I got chickens. In June, we got cited,” Hartley said.

She’s not afraid to ruffle some feathers to change the city’s rules.

“We had been quoted the wrong code, and multiple people had gotten chickens as a result of me giving them the wrong information,” Hartley said.

(Shelby Lofton/KSL TV)

City Manager Tom Hanson said all cities but two in Weber County allow backyard hens, and there’s a reason Washington Terrace leaders are opposed.

“The smells from waste, the influx of rats, raccoons and other little critters will go into that environment,” Hanson said.

Hanson said it’s a cleanliness issue, but also noted the small size of most lots in the city.

“If they’re taken care of properly, what difference does it make if it’s a chicken, dog or a cat?” Parr said.

These hen owners argue the city ordinance should lay out standards for coop upkeep.

Hanson said the city doesn’t have the capacity to enforce those rules, on top of basic code enforcement.

“We’re struggling quite a bit with people just following the basic principles of taking care of your home,” he said.

For Hartley and her neighbors, the hens play a huge role in their household.

“What we teach our children by having them raise chickens and having them collect eggs is stability and independence, and that is something our country lives off of,” Hartley said.

Hartley said with inflation, having a daily supply of eggs from her own chickens saves her family a lot of money. She said a lot of the chicken owners share their eggs with people who are food insecure in the community.

She plans on attending the next city council meeting to keep this discussion going.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

A group of students touring Alta View Hospital in Sandy. (Mark Less)...
Alex Cabrero

Black Physicians of Utah host Medicine Immersion Day

A local organization is encouraging Utah's Black youth to consider a career field in health and medicine to diversify the medical field.
20 hours ago
The Belvedere building, 29 S. State St (Andrew Adams)...
Andrew Adams

Bats in the Belvedere in Salt Lake City test positive for rabies

Bats in the Belvedere in Salt Lake City are testing positive for rabies, health officials warn residents and locals to use caution.
20 hours ago
"There are many rumors going around about a fight last night at the Hillcrest football game. We wou...
Brooke Williams

Rumors of a weapon at Hillcrest High School football game put to rest

Rumors of a weapon at a Hillcrest High School football game are put to rest.
20 hours ago
FILE PHOTO (Salt Lake City School District)...
Brooke Williams

Highland High School makes sure all students can participate in homecoming dance Saturday

“We are happy to announce that this year’s Homecoming Dance is FREE. Dresses, suits, transportation, and a free Chick-fil-A dinner will make for a fun tradition for all students to enjoy.”
20 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

BYU premieres documentary ‘The Black 14: Healing Hearts and Feeding Souls’

There's a lot of history with BYU football. Saturday’s game against Wyoming in Provo will bring some of that history back. It's a story many people might not know, which is why BYU journalism students did a documentary on it, called The Black 14.
2 days ago
Shara Park

Jordan High student athletes help two kids with cerebral palsy enjoy Fun Run

As thousands of Utahns head to their local high schools for Friday night lights, it’s the Jordan High School athletes that shine a little brighter in the eyes of two Park Lane Elementary students.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Neighbors in Washington Terrace pushing for ordinance to allow chickens