After years of debate, you will finally be seeing chickens being raised in the City of Battle Creek.

The Battle Creek Enquirer says that at their meeting Tuesday, the vote by the City Commission was 5-4 in favor of passing the ordinance allowing hens within city limits. Under the ordinance only 20 permits will be issued at first, and there will be tight rules regarding things like keeping enclosures away from property lines in order to avoid creating nuisances.

The original version of this ordinance was introduced in February 2016 by Sprout Urban Farms, and allowed for urban gardens as well as the raising of chickens, goats, and bees. The gardening portions were passed in January 2017, but the city felt at the time that more discussion was needed on the animal ordinance.

The City says after an initial pilot period, the number of chicken permits they issue could be expanded. They have also said previously that the ordinance can be amended at a later date, if they want to allow other animals like goats to be raised.

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