This sixteen-month process is drawing to a successful conclusion! Tonight the City Council voted 6-4 in favor of zoning changes to specifically allow urban hens in Billings. They followed up that win by voting 9-1 in support of a new urban hen ordinance allowing up to 6 hens kept in clean, predator-proof housing, an annual permit, and enforced by nuisance ordinances, among other details. The new ordinance is based on that of Missoula, MT and Fort Collins, CO.
There will be a second public reading of this new ordinance, scheduled in September, then 30 days before the ordinance becomes effective.
More information will post to this website as it becomes available, including the cost and process for obtaining the permit.
Speaking on behalf of this citizen’s Initiative group, Way to go, Billings! We are really proud of our City Council and Mayor for working through this issue with us, especially to a successful conclusion. You guys listened to the information and searched through rhetoric and fears to come to a good conclusion. Thumbs up and kudos from the hen-loving community!
To those hen lovers, we ask that you respect the efforts that Dave Klein with Animal Control has gone to in putting the new ordinance together and researching potential issues. While all along there has been a legal contention on whether or not urban hens were or were not allowed in Billings, the fact that they will definitely be allowed now means that we have an extra duty to implement these new, productive pets into our yards in a responsible, careful manner. Keep in mind your neighbors, keep your coops clean and your hens quiet, and be willing to share some of those great eggs!