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Providence council scorecard: Roosters, 1; sleeping humans, 0

October 13th, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Kristi Ottley

PROVIDENCE–The early dawn sounds of cock-a-doodling from roosters will still be heard within the city limits, with the decision of the City Council not to amend the current animal regulations code and prohibit the owning or raising of roosters.

Multiple complaints to the city about obnoxious and loud roosters in Providence are what brought a discussion about the possibility of prohibiting residents from owning and raising roosters to the table Tuesday. Councilman Don Calderwood invited local resident and previous rooster owner Gary Sampson to share his knowledge of the birds with the city council.

“I’m not an expert,” Sampson said. “But when I grew up there were a lot more chickens than people and I put myself through junior high by selling eggs and hatching chicks, so all of my knowledge is from growing up.”

The council went back and forth on whether prohibiting new roosters in the city was a fair amendment to the current animal regulations.

“My personal opinion is I don’t necessarily think the government should be too intrusive on peoples’ lives by saying, you absolutely can’t do this,” said Councilman Dale Astle. “I think it’d be seen as very intrusive.”

“How can you say you can’t have a rooster, but you can have a duck?” Councilman David Low asked.

Providence’s noise ordinance requires an intrusive or disruptive noise to be sustained for at least 10 minutes before it can be considered a violation of the current animal regulations. According to Sampson, roosters generally crow on and off for the first 30 minutes they are active in the morning, but not consistently for 10 minutes at a time.

“The downside of being in a small community where people live next door to each other is that roosters become a real nuisance because they are loud and can be very disturbing,” Sampson said. “I think if you’re a concerned and responsible neighbor there is no reason to have a rooster.”

The complaints were not the only reason roosters were a topic of discussion at the meeting. The city has been receiving phone calls recently from residents who are considering raising their own chickens and they are asking about the rules and regulations for owning roosters.

“We have more and more people looking at backyard flocks and the first thing they ask when they call is how many roosters can I have?” City Administrator Skarlet Bankhead informed the council.

“We wanted to discuss it with the council before we tell them there are no restrictions since we have been receiving complaints,” Bankhead said.

“We’re not against roosters, we’re just against noisy roosters,” Low said.

Some Providence residents are looking at raising chickens for the eggs they produce as well as the meat the chickens provide.

“I don’t see how we can say absolutely no roosters,” Mayor Ronald Liechty said.

“Roosters come with living in a country atmosphere,” said Astle.

After lengthy discussion, the council decided to leave the animal regulations as they are and not make any amendments for roosters. Residents will be allowed to continue to own roosters as they always have in the past, and residents inquiring about the rules and regulations of having roosters will be told that there are no restraints against keeping roosters within city limits.

The meeting continued on to discuss other matters including reappointing resident Carol Nyman as a member of the Providence City Historic Preservation Commission. With little discussion, the council voted unanimously to reinstate her in the position.

Bankhead gave a report on Saturday’s annual car show held at the middle school. “A big thanks to everyone who participated in the car show. We had 38 cars, which is down about 30 percent, but with the weather, that’s probably why it was down.”

This was the fourth year for the Providence City Car Show. It is looked forward to by the council members and residents alike, as well as residents of nearby cities.

“One of the things people said they like about our car show is that it’s small and when they come to look at it they don’t feel overwhelmed,” Bankhead said.

The meeting came to a close with the reminder of the upcoming annual Providence Sauerkraut Dinner and Bazaar Oct. 28 at Spring Creek Middle School.


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  1. One Response to “Providence council scorecard: Roosters, 1; sleeping humans, 0”

  2. By Jeff Watkins on Oct 14, 2011

    The Council abdicated their responsibility to ensure harmonious order within the community. Many other communities along the Wasatch Front have banned noisy roosters. People have a right to quality of life in their homes, and noisy roosters at 4 AM definitely are out of order.

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