GALLIPOLIS —The village of Rio Grande is on board for finding ways to promote more sustainable living.
A new ordinance has passed in the village which is a step in the direction of that sustainable living. Until recently, owning chickens in residential areas in Rio Grande was illegal. Now, with specific qualifications written in an ordinance, a citizen of Rio Grande may now have a chicken coop. A village resident can have up to four hens, however at this time, roosters are not allowed.
When speaking to Matt Easter, the mayor of Rio Grande, he spoke about the importance of sustainable living along with the value of having chicken coops:
“Most major cities across the US allow chicken coops,” Easter said. “The reason primarily is for sustainability. People want to know where their food comes from and they also want to know that they are able to take care of themselves and their family. I also want the public to know that the village will monitor the chicken coops and we understand concerns that may arise when someone thinks about a town having chickens in a community. That is why the village worked on the ordinance to make it clear that the standards for having these coops is of a high standard. This project is also a great learning tool for children with hands on knowledge.”
This project in Rio Grande is in conjunction with Rio Grande’s Food Forest Project that was started in 2015.
Easter explained he believes there is a “paradigm shift in our culture about sustainable living.”
He added: “Though having a food forest or a few chicken coops may not seem like much, I like to remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a few days.”
The ordinance was inspired by major cities from across the U.S. The Rio Grande ordinance borrowed many ideas from ordinances from cities that have adapted chicken coops and have successfully adopted easier access to sustainable living
A citizen of Rio Grande, if interested in registering for a chicken coop permit, may at the Rio Grande Municipal Building and licenses will be available around March. Though, as Easter suggested, “an individual may register now if they are interested.”
So far the village of Rio Grande has three people registered for chicken coops.
Some of the regulations in the ordinance include: how may hens an individual may have, the treatment of hens, the size and placement of the coop, and information about obtaining permits.