Lewiston may take second pass at allowing residential chickens

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LEWISTON — Councilors may consider letting some city property owners keep chickens for their own use.

Councilors said Tuesday they’d be willing to look at allowing the birds in some parts of the city. City Administrator Ed Barrett said staff would draw up a proposed ordinance and bring it to councilors to review later this year.

Lewiston’s ordinances don’t allow chickens anywhere other than large lots zoned for agriculture, said Gil Arsenault, the city’s planning and code enforcement director. Councilors considered changing the ordinance in 2009, but ultimately decided against it.

Ward 2 City Councilor Don D’Auteuil said he’s heard from three or four residents asking to be allowed to keep the birds. He suspects many homes in the city keep them in residential-zoned areas, despite the ban.”I don’t think they cause the problems that people think,” D’Auteuil said. “We are pushing these community farms and gardens and the whole grow-local effort. So what’s the problem with getting natural eggs?”

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Councilor Leslie Dubois said she heard the exact opposite when she was campaigning last year.

“The citizens that have spoken to me have asked not to have any chicken ordinances changed or to allow chickens anywhere,” Dubois said. “I would have to respect that.”

At least four councilors — D’Auteuil, Nathan Libby, Kristen Cloutier and Mike Lachance — said they’d be willing to discuss the matter more.

staylor@sunjournal.com

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