Montgomery (OH) City Council last night voted unanimously (7-0) to re-legalize the keeping of chickens in the city, after criminalizing it in July. Residents had objected to criminalizing an activity that was currently legal and had been causing no problems, and they also provided City Council with extensive research showing that chicken-keeping was not a problem in suburban backyards, and City Council listened. Re-legalizing the practice required a public hearing and three readings of the amended ordinance. Chickens currently being kept illegally in Montgomery will once again be legal starting January 1st, under the following conditions: * No more than six chickens may be kept * No roosters will be allowed * Coops and enclosures must not be visible from the street, must be screened from neighboring properties by fencing or landscaping, and must adhere to setbacks and property maintenance codes. Montgomery is an upscale suburb of Cincinnati which bills itself as a "Premiere Residential Community" and City Council's first knee-jerk reaction to an inquiry by a resident into whether it was legal for her to keep chickens had been to investigate, find out it was currently legal, and promptly criminalize it. City Council believed that very few residents would approve of allowing chicken-keeping, but in an online public forum opinion was 3-1 in favor of continuing to allow chicken-keeping, and during a public hearing at city hall, not one person objected to allowing chickens. After having voted unanimously to criminalize keeping chickens in July, council completely reversed itself last night. If Montgomery -- where people are exceptionally concerned about how what goes on next door will affect their property values -- can take this progressive step, I believe that with a professional, courteous approach, any of us can change the chicken laws in our areas.