Battle Creek could be moving forward once again on allowing certain livestock to be raised within city limits.

The City says that the current draft of the proposed ordinance is the result of over 18 months of planning and community engagement, and has a few changes from the original plan. Under this ordinance, only hens would be allowed to be raised initially, but the draft’s language allows for animals like goats or rabbits to be added later.

Only 20 licenses would be issued in the first year of the program if it passes; after that first year, the program would be reviewed and either expanded or scrapped.

As the city says, the possibility of raising chickens in Battle Creek city limits has been a topic of discussion for a very long time. This current debate was first sparked in February 2016 by Sprout Urban Farms, as part of a larger urban agriculture ordinance. In February 2017, the Battle Creek City Commission approved an agriculture ordinance that allowed for private and community food gardens in city limits, but that didn't include any language regarding animals.

This ordinance is set to be introduced to the Battle Creek City Commission next month; to read the draft language, click here. More information regarding Urban Agriculture can be found by visiting the city's website.