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The original item was published from 12/15/2021 5:32:00 PM to 12/21/2021 12:00:06 AM.

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Posted on: December 9, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Commissioners Pass Code Amendment to Allow Backyard Chickens

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. – The Spokane County Board of Commissioners have unanimously passed an amendment to the existing Spokane County Zoning Codes to allow the raising of chickens in low-density residential areas of unincorporated Spokane County. 

Residents in low-density residential zones are now allowed to raise one hen per 1,000 square feet of lot area. Medium and High-density residential areas are still prohibited from raising chickens. The amendment does not allow for the raising of roosters in any case. Structures such as coops, pens, or hutches are required to be at least 25 feet from dwellings on adjacent properties. 

The purpose of the amendment is to allow county residents, in suburban environments, the ability to keep and raise chickens, thereby increasing the availability of a sustainable food supply closer to the home of the consumer while at the same time preserving compatibility between neighboring properties. 

For more information on the basics of raising chickens, please visit:  https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/em9089.pdf

Chair of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners, Josh Kerns, stated, “This is a perfect example of a citizen led process to change local laws. When a constituent brought this issue to my attention earlier this year, I was surprised that raising chickens was not addressed in our current County code. For people in unincorporated Spokane County, this means that they’ll now be able to raise their chickens legally. For many more it will be an opportunity to explore the benefits and enjoyment of urban farming.” 

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