On Thursday, the city of Bakersfield announced that it would temporarily limit residents’ ability to house chickens in their backyards.
As early as September, the city council voted 4 to 3 to allow residents to keep up to 12 chickens within the city limits, with some provisions being introduced. The number of chickens a house is allowed to have depends on the size of the property and the distance to other buildings.
Before the vote, many parishioners spoke out and asked the council to stop, postpone or re-evaluate the regulation due to health concerns related to illness or noise complaints.
“We need to think of our entire community, not someone who has a personal need or opinion that having a chicken in their backyard will improve their lifestyle,” one community member said at the meeting.
Then on Wednesday the city council held a close session on a citizen’s lawsuit to preserve R-1 zones and voted 6 to 0 to issue an injunction against the Chicken Ordinance pending resolution. The move saves the city the cost of legal fees related to the lawsuit.
“Please note, therefore, that the residents of the city should not receive any chickens until further notice,” said a statement from the city.
At this point in time, it remains illegal to “own or otherwise keep or have custody of a hen in a residential district, unless otherwise provided in the Bakersfield Municipal Code”.