Lynnwood council votes to allow residents to keep up to 5 chicken hens

LYNNWOOD — The path is set for people to be able to coop up to five chickens on single-family properties in Lynnwood.

The City Council scratched into the topic, passing an ordinance allowing chickens, 5-2 at Monday’s meeting.

The ordinance requires that 15 feet separate a coop or pen from neighbors, the fowl cannot be kept in front yards, fencing must separate chickens from neighbors and roosters are not allowed.

In 1917, the Puget Mill Co, developed the 30-acre Alderwood Manor, which was located where the city now stands. It was promoted as an agricultural community and soon became home to the largest egg-producing farms in the country.

“It’s ironic that a city, rooted in chicken farming, does not allow chickens,” said Michelle McGraw, a Lynnwood resident speaking for the measure.

Robert Bostwick, another Lynnwood resident, described his chicken husbandry practices over the past 50 years. He asked the council to grandfather existing coop position on properties as well as flock size, should either be out of compliance.

Council members asked community development director Paul Krauss if that move could cause punitive actions on chicken owners coming forward and asking for exceptions under the new guidelines.

“As far as I’m concerned it would be no harm, no foul,” Krauss said. “We make a reasonable assumption that 95 percent of homeowners want to do the right thing.”

Councilmen Benjamin Goodwin and Loren Simmonds cast dissenting votes.

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