GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCSC) - Cayce Giddens has lived in Goose Creek for fifteen years. She said she and her family were getting stressed about the rising prices of groceries, inflation, and food shortage issues. So, they started talking about getting chickens to help ease that stress.
“We talked about having chickens, and when we looked into what the city says about it, we found out they’re not allowed at all in Goose Creek, and that was shocking to find out,” Giddens said.
Giddens started talking to some of her neighbors and decided to start an online petition to try to get the City of Goose Creek to allow residents to have chickens. As of Monday morning, the petition had almost 300 signatures.
“We’re stressed out about food and providing for our families, and that chickens was an easy way to at least have those eggs in the background for their calorie content and their protein and just wanting to have that as an extra staple to supplement our groceries,” Giddens said.
She said the concerns she’s been hearing on the other side of the issue are about cleanliness.
“I think an ordinance is the best of both worlds,” Giddens said. “It gives people who want to own chickens that security of having that food, but it also gives people who don’t want to own chickens or worried about it a recourse to handle that if somebody’s not taking care of their property.”
According to the proposed ordinance, people cannot have hens without first obtaining an approved application and an annual compliance inspection and fee payment. Under the ordinance, roosters would not be allowed. One chicken per 2,500 square feet would be allowed, with a maximum of 4 chickens maximum regardless of lot size. Hens would not be allowed to be raised for commercial purposes.
John C. says, "Private property rights are fundamental and Goose Creek is acting like a tyrannical HOA, not a reasonable municipal government."
The proposed ordinance says animal control or code enforcement officers may enter and inspect properties containing coops to investigate potential violations or compliance with the ordinance.
NOTE: Council will discuss the proposed changes at tonight’s council meeting at 6 p.m.
City of Goose Creek Public Information Officer Frank Johnson sent Live 5 News this statement regarding the proposed ordinance:
“At its June 14 meeting, Goose Creek City Council will consider an ordinance that would allow City residents who live in single-family homes to keep up to 4 chickens, depending on property size. The meeting will include discussion about the issue and a first reading vote. A City ordinance would not change or supersede existing HOA guidelines for residences governed by an HOA. Council members were approached by residents who are in favor of such an ordinance earlier this year.”