There may be some clucking at this week's Newport Beach City Council meeting when city officials talk about changing the city's current municipal code to accommodate more pet chickens, but the six hens living in Corona del Mar may still need to find a new home.
At Tuesday's 3:30 p.m. City Council Study Session, city officials will discuss The Goldenrod 6 and decide whether to keep the city's existing regulations in place which allow pet chickens in residential agricultural zones and Santa Ana Heights, or expand the regulations to allow residents to keep chickens providing they meet certain lot criteria and other standards.
According to the staff report, city staff believes that allowing chickens to be kept as pets is acceptable as long as specific requirements are met including "a minimum lot size of 15,000 square-feet and a limit of two chickens per property." These potential guidelines could increase the number of homes eligible to house pet chickens to 1,230, although the Goldenrod Avenue home where the Goldenrod 6 live doesn't seem to meet those requirements.
The Goldenrod 6 came into the spotlight in December after a neighbor filed a noise complaint with the city. Owner Michael Resk created a Facebook page for his pet chickens -- known as Red, Tiny, Whitey, Flatty, Blackie and Blondie -- were he has been asking for the support of his neighbors. In January Resk said someone scattered rock salt all over the backyard of the Goldenrod Avenue home where the chickens live. Resk says the rock salt can cause salt toxicity in chickens causing renal failure and death.
So far the Facebook page dedicated to showing love for the Goldenrod 6 has attracted close to 500 fans and continues to reach out to the community for support.
"The Ladies have asked for a place to enjoy their lives. Where they are free to have visits from friends," Resk wrote in a recent Facebook post. "A place where neighbors respect private property and whose hearts are filled more with love than hate."
According to city officials, urban chicken farming is a trend that has surfaced recently as part of the organic and sustainable food movements which has led many cities to review their laws. In its staff report, the city mentioned some positives related to pet chickens including poultry being a a good source of food, but identified some negative aspects including noise concerns due to the chickens' clucking and the smell created by feces.
The public is invited to attend Tuesday's meeting. The City Council anticipates the chicken talk to start around 4:40 p.m.
Do you think the Goldenrod 6 should be allowed to stay in Corona del Mar? Tell us in the comments.