Public hearing in Oregon to consider SUE to raise chickens, ducks

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Oregon City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers to consider the approval of a Special Use Exception (SUE) permit.
        Applicants Karensa Harwick and David Blakemore, of 1810 James Road, are requesting the SUE in an R-2 Medium Density Residential District for the purpose of raising chickens and ducks for consumption.
        The Oregon Planning Commission met on November 17 to hear the matter.
        James Gilmore, commissioner of building and zoning, said at the meeting that the Project Review Committee felt that the location, near the woods, would have very low impact on neighboring properties. However, it suggested limiting the number of animals allowed at the site.
        Gilmore said he did not know the size of the property, but said it was “quite large.”
        Applicant Harwick said at the meeting that the property has 15 chickens and five ducks. She said they have a shed and two additional chicken coops.
        Planning Commission member Rick Orovitz asked if there was an enclosure for them at night.
        Harwick said they share the space with the chickens, and that they are raised together. She said there was an area that is penned in for the fowl.
Limited number
        Planning Commission Chairman Scott Winckowski asked if the commission were to limit the maximum number of animals she could have, would she be comfortable with 20. Harwick said yes.
        Gilmore said the location is in South Shore Park/Plympton Circle in a neighborhood with winding roads and a lot of woods near the Oregon Inn. He said his office notified neighbors within a 300-foot diameter and put up a sign in their yard regarding the SUE and meeting.
        Planning Commission member Greg Vriezelaar said he thought 20 animals was too large a number at the site and was opposed to a rooster on the premises. He thought 10 or less would be better.
        Mayor Mike Seferian, who has a seat on the Planning Commission, said the commission has previously considered dozens of chickens as a manageable number in similar applications. He said roosters are taken out of the equation because they generate complaints.
        Planning Commission member Yussef Olive said he would like the Planning Commission to review the SUE after one year.
        Clarence Berry, of Bay Shore Road, expressed support for the SUE at the meeting. Elizabeth Howard, of James Road, also spoke in favor of the SUE. Nobody at the meeting voiced opposition.
        Seferian moved to approve the SUE with the stipulation that a dozen hens and/or female ducks be permitted with a timeline of 90 days to come into compliance and that the SUE  be revisited for review by the commission after one year when a permanent SUE would then be approved. The commission recommended approval by a vote of 5-0.
        Now the matter goes before City Council on Jan. 11 for approval.


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