Chickens will come home to roost as Los Alamitos Council approves live-fowl ordinance

In a good-natured public hearing highlighted by an epic string of puns and wordplay by Councilman Marc Chirco in support of the proposal, the Los Alamitos City Council approved the first reading of a new ordinance that will allow residents of Los Alamitos to keep hens as pets (but not roosters).

No comments were made by members of the public.

According to a staff report and testimony from both Marc Chirco and Los Alamitos City Director of Development Ron Noda, a resident of Los Alamitos spoke at the December 8, 2021 meeting of the Planning Commission to request consideration of allowing residents to keep live fowl, chickens in particular. At that time, keeping any live fowl was prohibited within the City’s limits.

On February 23, 2022 the Planning Commission discussed the topic, and requested that City Staff draft an ordinance that would change the municipal code to allow hens (but not roosters) to be kept under appropriate conditions. The Commission held a duly noticed public hearing on the matter the following month, then voted to recommend that the City Council consider the matter and approve the new ordinance.

The first reading of that ordinance was approved, and amends the municipal code to allow residents to keep a maximum of four (4) hens (but not roosters) under the following conditions:

  • in an outside coop or run, with nesting boxes;
  • the enclosure or coop or run must be cleaned daily;
  • the hens must be provided with adquate food and water;
  • the enclosure must be at least twenty (20) feet from any “dwelling unit” in an adjacent yard or parcel;
  • hens may not be kept in the front yard.
  • Additional conditions covered proper storage of the food and waste material.

    The new ordinance will take effect after a second reading and vote at the City Council meeting on May 16.