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Lee County Commissioners vote no to backyard chickens

Posted at 4:50 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 00:08:15-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — At the Commissioners meeting on Dec. 15, residents in support of backyard chickens spoke to the Board in the hopes of a potential ordinance to allow them to raise the animals in Lee County.

This issue is not new to commissioners, it has been brought up throughout the year.

On June 2, the Board directed staff to draft an amendment to the Land Development Code (LDC) that would allow the keeping and raising of chickens in residential areas of unincorporated Lee County for advisory committee review.

Chickens would have to be contained in a coop with location, size and setback limitations, with no more than 4 hens per lot under one acre and 6 hens per lot one acre or larger.

The committees recommended to not adopt the proposed amendments, citing compatibility concerns with the keeping of farm animals in residential areas as the primary basis for its recommendation.

The Local Planning Agency met Oct. 26, and found that the amendment is inconsistent with Lee Plan Policy 135.9.6, which requires the county to administer the planning and zoning process so that proposed land uses minimize adverse impacts on residential properties.

The Board chose to follow the advisory committee recommendations and voted 3-2 against the motion for further public hearings on the amendment.