|Published:||Aug 02, 2012 4:41 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Aug 02, 2012 5:20 PM EDT|
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.- Raising hens in your backyard: that's what leaders in Bonita Springs discussed at Wednesday night's city council meeting. They approved a two-year backyard hen pilot program.
Hilary Mains is raising nine hens at his home on Tampa Road. He says not only do they provide his family with fresh eggs, but they're also important to sustainable agriculture.
"They're like machines, only they're sustainable machines. All I have to do is feed them and they till the soil, they provide nutrients for the soil, they weed," Mains said.
This is why he was one of several residents who spoke in favor of the backyard hen pilot program at the council meeting.
"It's sustainability...food security, you know where your food is coming from. It just seems like you should have the right on your property to do what you need to do," Kristin Dinkel said.
Bonita Springs leaders voted four to two to start a two-year program. It allows 25 Bonita Springs homeowners to keep hens on their property, under certain conditions. Only four hens are allowed and they must stay in a covered coop that's inside a fenced-in area, to name a few.
Councilman William Lonkart voted against it.
"It's a feel-good issue and I don't feel good about it. It's not the right thing to do in residential areas. I don't see the benefit in the long run," Lonkart said.
The earliest this program could start is next year. After the two years is up, city leaders would decide whether to extend or end the program.
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