Locals fight to allow chickens within Ronceverte city limits - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Locals fight to allow chickens within Ronceverte city limits

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UPDATE:

A meeting in Ronceverte decided a citizen request to allow chickens within city limits should move forward.

The meeting happened Monday night at the Ronceverte City Hall before the Ronceverte Board of Zoning Appeals.

People on both sides of the "chicken issue" met there to voice their concerns and opinions.

Citizens opposed to the chickens said they would be a nuisance to neighbors, citing their loud squawking and smell, as well as potential pollution concerns.

Those fighting for the chickens to be allowed in town said they would provide fresh eggs for the table and natural fertilizer for spring gardens.

The board voted unanimously to move the issue up to the city council.

Marty Smith, Chair of the Ronceverte Board of Zoning Appeals, said, "Our request is that it go back to the city [along with] our request for them to draft an ordinance."

The ordinance would be drafted by an appointed committee.

"Then they will have public hearings," Smith said. "There are a lot of people who would like to have [chickens] and I think if we do it this way, it's fair to everybody."

The drafting of a new ordinance would not immediately change the existing ordinance that prohibits "domestic fowl" from city limits, Smith reminded those present at the meeting. 

"It is just a step," he said. "It just wouldn't be fair not to move forward in the process if this is what the people really want."

---------------------------------

RONCEVERTE, W. Va (WVVA)-- A local ordinance prohibiting chickens within town limits is up for discussion in a local community.

People in the town of Ronceverte said Monday they are fighting to change the ordinance that prohibits chickens and other animals not traditionally considered "pets" from being kept at residences within the city limits.

Christi Boothe, who wants to keep chickens in her yard, said the goal is to raise the animals and use their eggs to bring healthier, fresh food to her table.

"It's just important to me," she said. "Not only are you getting the natural eggs, natural fertilizer, natural insect control, but you also get the benefit of having an additional pet."

But some say talk of chickens ruffles their feathers, and that if they were allowed in Ronceverte the animals would become a nuisance for neighbors.

"We would have the pollution, and we would have the odor. It's just something that we're not wanting," said Liz Altizer of Ronceverte.

Interested parties meet at Ronceverte City Hall before the Board of Zoning Appeals Monday night at 7 PM.

WVVA's Kristen Conner will provide updates as details unfold.

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