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Group works to legalize backyard chicken coops

Posted at 7:03 PM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 19:03:18-04
A 'chicken committee' is now working to legalize backyard chicken-raising in unincorporated Lee County. 
 
The five-person committee was put together by the Lehigh Acres Community Council to draft a proposal to legalize raising chickens within residential areas in unincorporated Lee County. 
 
"There's a lot less opposition now and I am a whole lot more stubborn. I'm not going to stop until this is legal," said Charles Edwards, a member of  the chicken committee. 
 
Edwards was impassioned to change the county ordinance after losing his backyard hens  when he was caught violating a county ordinance which makes backyard chicken-raising illegal in residential areas throughout unincorporated lee county. 
 
Initially the plan was to solely legalize backyard chicken-raising in Lehigh Acres; however because Lehigh Acres is in unincorporated Lee County, the committee must come up with a plan that could be implemented in all communities throughout unincorporated Lee County. 
 
"There's always those that feel it protects them and those that feel it violates their rights," said Rick Anglickis, Vice President of the Lehigh Acres Community Council. 
 
Anglickis, who is also on the chicken committee, believes the proposal could face some push back in more concentrated communities where noise may be a concern. 
 
Despite some opposition, Edwards believes the benefits from backyard chickens could change minds. 
 
"When my wife looked up all the vitamin differences from eggs that you raise and eggs in the store the difference is astronomical," said Edwards. 
 
The chicken committee plans to finalize their proposal in the next 30 days. The Lehigh Acres Community Council will then vote on whether they will present a resolution to Lee County Commissioners for consideration.