Las Vegas chicken owners concerned after new city ordinance - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Las Vegas chicken owners concerned after new city ordinance

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A hen appears in this undated photo (FOX5). A hen appears in this undated photo (FOX5).

Jessica Sullivan has a big family, and for her, that includes her eight pet chickens. 

"Just seeing them prance around the yard is pure magic," Sullivan said with a smile. 

Sullivan's chickens give her fresh eggs, and keep her yard clear of bugs and scorpions, but to her, they are her pets. That is why she said she's concerned about a new city ordinance. She said at first, she was on board, because it allowed for chickens to be kept in backyards. But after reviewing the ordinance further, she found some portions of it she and other chicken owners were not comfortable with. 

"You have to get neighbor consent. So say a neighbor moves, and then the new neighbor doesn't want to give [consent], then you have to give up your pets," she said. 

The ordinance requires all chicken owners to get written consent from neighbors. They can also at any point withdraw their consent. 

"The neighbor consent portion needs to be done away with," she said.

Sullivan and about 600 other people have signed a petition to get that neighbor permission clause out of the ordinance. After the petition began circling, Sullivan said councilman Bob Coffin reached out and asked to have a meeting. Monday, Sullivan went to meet him prepared to discuss concerns from the chicken community.

"I'm hopeful," she said as she made her way to his office. 

FOX5 informed Councilman Coffin a reporter and photographer would be coming to his office, but he was visibly upset. 

"It's a misfortune you have a camera here with you," Coffin said to Sullivan. "I don't know why you brought the news with you."

Sullivan explained her concerns about the bill, and Coffin said to get it passed, he had to allow for certain concessions like the neighbor clause. He also said he doesn't plan to make any changes to the bill. 

"What do you expect from a politician who lives and dies by votes?" he asked her. "People have to be patient. You have to be cooperative to make this work. If you're going to b**ch and moan about it, I can't help."

Following the 30 minute meeting, Sullivan said she was disappointed by the councilman's stance.

"I think the first step is being heard, and while nothing is going to be changed, at least we got out voice out there," she said. "I am hopeful we can not have issues with our neighbors and maybe people will start to be more open. Maybe if people see this segment, they'll understand how much joy [our chickens] bring people."

Other chicken owners also reached out to talk about another recent city council ordinance which allowed for a family to keep a lion, tiger, and jaguar in their backyard near Rainbow and Sahara. Neighbor consent was not required for that move. 

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