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Visalia Leaders Vote Down Chicken Ordinance

In a two hour public hearing Visalia city leaders heard arguments for and against allowing chickens and/or goats to live in the city limits. It wasn’t the typical venue for Visalia City Council, but inside a room at the convention center the Visalia city council sat on a stage and voted 3-2 to deny an ordinance for chickens in the city. They also made no plans to add goats to a future agenda.

"This is not just for eggs and for the nutrition but it’s also to teach our children my children, my grandchildren how to work and how to be responsible I am for the chicken ordinance so I urge you to please consider that," said Raul Zuniga a Visalia resident.

"I live on a fairly small plot of ground and I don’t want to be sitting out behind that fence smelling the chicken coup. No matter how sanitary the conditions are you can smell chickens and goats," said Visalia resident Harold Myers.

Hours before this argument began, mini goats roamed Visalia city streets as people demanded goats also be considered as household pets.

"Take the time to consider it put it on a future agenda do some research actually have some open dialogue with us and see if we can together come up with a compromise to see if there is something best for all Visalians that protects everyone’s right to property privacy and food freedom," said Gingi Freeman a Visalia resident.

The Visalia city council voted to deny a city ordinance that would allow chickens. The city’s mayor shared his feelings.

"In all honesty folks code enforcement is maxed out. We’ve got them doing a lot of things a lot of different things and it seems like every time something comes up we add more to the plate and so I’m concerned with that," said Mayor of Visalia Steve Nelsen.

It was the Visalia mayor who had the deciding vote to deny the ordinance and he said he believes he only heard from about one percent of the city’s population saying they were in favor of the ordinance. He claims his vote to deny the ordinance was for the majority.

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