According to the StarTribune, Maplewood just passed a chicken ordinance. Up to 10 hens permitted. Here is the article from today's paper.
"Some Maplewood residents have been raising chickens in their back yards for years, but starting in August they can do it without breaking the law.
The City Council passed an ordinance last week that legalizes the practice and adds the east metro suburb to the growing number of Twin Cities communities that allow urban agriculture.
"It is a trend that some people are into," said City Council Member John Nephew, who voted in favor of the ordinance. "For people, it's a hobby or educational tool to teach kids where eggs come from. It's a fine thing for the very small number of people who are doing that, and we should not stand in the way."
The ordinance will require anybody raising chickens to pay $75 to the city for a license and $50 to renew each year. Residents will be able to have as many as 10 hens -- but no roosters -- in a back- or side-yard coop that is at least 5 feet from any property line, and chickens must wear a leg band with the owner's name and phone number.
The ordinance, passed on a 4-1 vote, also requires unanimous approval from owners of adjacent properties."
It also requires that food be stored in rodent-proof containers and prohibits beheading within city limits.
"They will have to cross the road to kill it," said City Manager Jim Antonen, who said the city will inspect coops to be sure they are in compliance.
Maplewood joins communities such as Shoreview, Oakdale, Rosemount, Minneapolis, St. Paul and Burnsville, which also allow chickens. White Bear Lake considered a chicken ordinance, but voted against it.
Antonen said the issue over chickens has been debated in Maplewood for more than two years after a few citizens approached the city's Environmental and Natural Resources Commission, which studied and recommended the ordinance. Nephew said it will give the city some leverage in dealing with complaints.
Police Chief David Thomalla said there is no way of knowing how many undocumented chickens there are in the city, but that his department gets occasional complaints.
That includes stray chickens. The city currently pays $42 for any animal -- chicken or other -- it brings to the Hillcrest Boarding facility, plus $18 a day. It also pays an animal control officer $82 per call plus $38 an hour.
The leg bands will allow the city to identify the owner and require the owner to reimburse the city for any fees associated with containing strays, said Shann Finwall, the city's environmental planner.
Not everybody is enthusiastic about the ordinance change.
"I don't like that you are going to have chickens in Maplewood," said Shirley Taugner, a 52-year Maplewood resident whose neighbors have chickens in violation of the law. "They are dirty and they poop and do their stuff all over."
But that is reason for the ordinance, said council Member James Llanas.
"There needs to be rules regulating how chickens are treated, and for neighbors to be respectful," he said.