- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2015

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) - A Muscatine woman has gathered hundreds of signatures in a petition effort to get an ordinance allowing city residents to keep chickens in their backyards.

As of last week, Alyce Spoto had gathered 300 signatures on a petition plus an additional 150 signatures online, the Quad-City Times reported (http://bit.ly/1NKarCs ) Saturday.

Spoto began the effort after tiring of traveling outside of town to tend her own chickens and gather eggs.

The proposal by Spoto and her group, Muscatine Egg Gatherers, would allow no more than four hens for each single-family dwelling, and coops wouldn’t be allowed within 30 feet of any door or window of a neighbor’s house, 15 feet of a side yard lot line or 18 inches of a backyard lot line.

No roosters would be allowed, and coops and cages would be prohibited from being kept in front yards. The proposal also would prohibit slaughtering chickens.

Many other Iowa cities allow backyard chickens, Spoto said.

“Hens are very quiet,” she said.

Muscatine City Planner Andrew Fangman said Spoto and her supporters will have to go through the Planning and Zoning Commission, which would give a recommendation to the Muscatine City Council. The council would have the final word.

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Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com

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