The Dunwoody Planning Commission is expected to discuss the possibility of legalizing backyard chickens in the city at its April 12 meeting.

The item is the only business item to be discussed, according to the agenda.

A debate over backyard chickens last occurred in 2009 when the City Council at the time voted against legalizing backyard chickens within the city limits. The current debate is being led by two Girl Scouts, Lauren Fitzgerald and Chloe Fenster, who have been working with poultry supporters and City Councilmembers Lynn Deutsch and John Heneghan to raise the discussion again.

Backyard chickens are legal in DeKalb County, Brookhaven and Sandy Springs, but all have ordinances people must follow.

Dunwoody’s proposed ordinance only allows for hens (no crowing roosters) and no ducks or turkeys or other fowl. The proposed ordinance also would only allow six chickens on lots measuring 10,000 to 15,000 square feet. No chickens would be allowed in lots under 10,000 square feet.

In Brookhaven, for example, the city allows livestock such as chickens, but the zoning code mandates livestock shall only be permitted on a “lot containing two or more acres,” said spokesperson Burke Brennan.

The Brookhaven code also requires all buildings used for animals to be set back at least 200 feet from any property line and all animals be maintained at least 100 feet from any property line, he said.

In Sandy Springs, those with backyard chickens must also follow strict restrictions, including housing them at least 25 feet from a neighbor’s occupied dwelling.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.