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Committee agrees on beekeeping recommendations, talks city chickens

Terre Haute city leaders are considering changes to animal care rules and a proposal is already evolving.

Posted: Mar. 14, 2019 10:39 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Terre Haute city leaders are considering changes to animal care rules and a proposal is already evolving.

News 10 has told you about this ordinance and plans to update rules regarding outdoor pets and even beekeeping. Thursday night a committee agreed to make some changes to the beekeeping portion of the ordinance but members say more discussion is necessary on another topic: city chickens.

A number of people say they want to be able to raise chickens within city limits.

Code enforcement officer Laurie Tharp says she is not in favor. Tharp says her office gets four to five calls a year about chickens running loose and the department simply lacks the resources to capture and care for the abandoned birds.

Patti Weaver runs the Indiana State University community garden and says she raises chickens on her property in the county. She says chickens should be allowed in the city.

"It can be regulated. It can be all permitted. Your house, six to ten chickens. It all works out very beautifully and they don't make a lot of mess they don't make a lot of smell and it doesn't draw in wild critters."

The committee came up with three recommendations regarding beekeeping. They will be offered to the full city council and could become amendments to the ordinance with enough support.

Instead of seventy-five feet between hives and other property lines as originally planned, the committee is suggesting a ten foot buffer.

The original plan also called for no more than four hives on a property less than ten thousand square feet. The committee is recommending no more than eight hives.

The committee also wants beekeepers to post a sign stating there are hives on their property.

Beekeeper Len Mullins says he is pleased with the outcome. Mullins offered his expertise and has invited city leaders to his home to see his hives.

City leaders say there may be more discussion and additional committee meetings ahead.

District 1 City Councilwoman Amy Auler says, "This is just the start of some discussion, listening to the people on what we need to change."

The city council is expected to talk more about all of this at a meeting next month.

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