OGDEN — If farm-fresh eggs are your desire, you’ll have to go to a farm — raising chickens is still illegal in Ogden.
The city council voted Tuesday night to add language to existing municipal code that clarifies the rules for keeping chickens within city limits. Section 12-7-8 of the Ogden City Municipal Code outlines guidelines for keeping fowl, namely chickens.
Chickens are currently not allowed within city limits, but there are a few properties that are allowed to have them as a nonconforming use — an exception that allows a parcel to continue a specific use after it has been rezoned.
Janene Eller-Smith, the council’s policy analyst, said the ordinance’s existing language has caused confusion for some residents.
She said residents have been pulling the ordinance up online and mistakenly reading it as allowing chickens on their property if appropriate enclosures are provided.
“Twenty or 30 years ago, if you wanted chickens, you’d just make a phone call (to the city),” she said. “But now, because of the Internet, people are just looking things up and making their own judgment.”
The new language in the ordinance reads: “It is unlawful for any person to keep chickens, ducks, pigeons or other fowl ... unless allowed by applicable zoning ordinance.”
The few property owners in Ogden allowed to keep fowl must keep the birds confined in pens or other proper enclosures at all times and at least 75 feet from any dwellings, the ordinance states.
Converse to Ogden, the Layton City Council voted last week to amend the zoning ordinance for residential chickens, reducing the size of the lots required to house the fowl from a 14,000-square-foot lot to a 10,000-square-foot lot.
That change affects as many as 3,370 residences, which would now be eligible to have chickens under the new guideline.