Poultry proponent

Chico man addresses City Council regarding exorbitant permit fees to raise chickens

Chicoans aren’t giving up on backyard chickens.

During the Chico City Council’s regular meeting on Tuesday evening (Sept. 6), Burt Levy sat through more than four hours of discussion on other topics before addressing the panel during the open-business portion that comes at the close of each gathering.

Levy lost his three laying hens last month when a city code-enforcement officer spotted them and told him to obtain a permit or get rid of them.

Levy (pictured with 14-year-old Mariah Dunbar) reminded the council members that the city’s municipal code requires that chicken owners pay exorbitant permitting fees (approximately $1,500 and $2,800 for homeowners and renters, respectively), making it unfeasible to own the creatures. He also pointed out the timeliness of the discussion, referencing a recent massive recall of millions of eggs tainted with salmonella.

“Gardening and having chickens is part of our individual food security,” he said.