By Miriam Raftery
May 12, 2012 (La Mesa) – A plucky group of La Mesa residents turned out at last week’s Council hearing to ask that smaller property owners be granted the right to raise chickens and savor fresh eggs.
Councilwoman Ruth Sterling asked to add consideration of chicken ownership to this Tuesday’s agenda for a discussion by Council.
Currently, chickens are illegal on lots under one-third of an acre. But a growing number of cities across the country are changing ordinances to allow backyard ownership of chickens (but not roosters).
Recently, the cities of Santee and San Diego voted to legalize residential ownership of chickens. San Diego went farther, also allowing miniature goats and beekeeping.
El Cajon, however, rejected a proposal to consider chicken ownership after the mayor cited concerns over Newcastle disease.
Among the long-time advocates for legalizing chicken ownership in La Mesa is Patrick Dean, a chef and La Mesa resident who has declared his intention to run for the City Council.