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Neptune Beach to vote on ordinance allowing hens in backyards

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – Neptune Beach officials are moving forward with a plan to allow people to keep hens in their backyards.

Recently, the City Council voted in favor of allowing residents to have chickens in their back yards.

The city of Neptune Beach is now discussing plans to enact a pilot program. Many Neptune Beach residents are clucking over the idea that they can have backyard hens.

It’s a discussion that’s ruffled some feathers in the past but currently most Neptune Beach people seem open to the idea to bring farm life to the beach.

Neptune Beach has one more workshop to discuss any tweaks they may want to add to this pilot program, but for the most part it mimics the program Duval County has.

It will allow 25 people to have a maximum of five chickens in their backyard, in a coup- no roosters.

If you want hens, you have to take a class then get your certificate, then, you would apply for a coop permit.

This only goes for people who live in single family homes.

“The negative side has been, what is the noise and what's the smell that comes along with it? You can look at the decibel rating for hens versus other animals like dogs. They're low impact animals compared to a 20 pound dog,” said city council member Richard Arthur.

We spoke to local residents about what they think.
 
“I think it's cool. I have kids so it would help me out. We don't have that here so it be good for them to learn and eat eggs,” said Cote Boulier, a Neptune Beach Resident.

“The only problem I could see is if they were noisy in the morning. Other than that, I wouldn't have any problem with it,” said Jeramey Reamer, another Neptune Beach Resident.

After the year-long pilot program, the city will have 18-months to make a decision on whether or not to pass it into ordinance.