MANKATO — Two men who were hoping to continue raising chickens at their Mapleton homes met unanimous disapproval by the town’s City Council Tuesday night.
The three councilman who were at the meeting said they were more concerned about other Mapleton residents who might decide to raise chickens than they were about Kyle Ochsner and Jason Klein. Both men said they live on the edge of town and have larger lots.
“I have no doubt you guys will be very responsible to take care of them,” said Councilman Judd Schultz. “But others, not so much. The ones who do it and don’t do it well are going to ruin it for everyone and we’ll be back here in a year doing this again.”
Two of the five council members weren’t able to attend the meeting, but Mayor James Swanson said he wanted to move forward with the vote because it had been on the table for more than a month. Ochsner and Klein asked the council to change its ordinance outlawing chickens in the city limits after they were contacted by police and told their chickens had to go.
At least one of the missing councilmen, Alan Christian, also was against changing the ordinance, Schultz said.
“I agree with his concerns that, if you do this for one thing, where do you stop?” Schultz said, saying he had talked to Christian about the issue. “You say, ‘Well, just allow chickens.’ I know that sounds easy but it really isn’t.”
Ochsner, who had been raising six chickens to provide a life lesson for his kids, said he was told a councilman complained after seeing one of his chickens from the road. He was not told which councilman. It sounded like an odd complaint, Ochsner said, because he has a barn that is used to temporarily store hogs not far from his house.