Council Says Goldenrod 6 Chickens Must Go

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The dust has finally settled on the Corona del Mar chicken flap.

The Goldenrod 6 hens will have to find a new home, the Newport Beach City Council decided during a study session Tuesday.

One of the Goldenrod 6 chickens. The city will force them to fly the coop following the Council's decision not to alter it ordinance governing livestock.

The city staff took about a month to evaluate the city ordinance that governs the keeping of chickens and recommend to the council that nothing change, meaning the ordinance still stands and the chickens are not allowed in that area of the city.

“Hopefully they can find a good home,” said Mayor Nancy Gardner

This is not about the Goldenrod 6, Gardner said, it’s about the policy. She likes chickens, she said, but considers the current policy to be the most appropriate.

“At the end of the day, its not about these specific chickens, its about whether or not we’re going to allow barnyard animals in neighborhoods that are not well equipped for them,” Councilman Keith Curry agreed, “and Corona del Mar, in my judgment, is not a neighborhood that’s well equipped for barnyard animals.”

Gardner said she had even thought about getting chickens at one point, saying it sounded like fun, but dismissed the idea after finding out that her neighborhood, also Corona del Mar, doesn’t allow them.

Two adult chickens and an unlimited number of offspring, until they are weaned, are allowed in homes with 15,000 square feet or more in the Santa Ana Heights area, said Kim Brandt, the city’s community development director.

Brandt listed several pros and cons of having chickens, including their novelty pet value and resourcefulness on the positive side; and their smell, noise and the fact that they could bring predators like coyotes into the neighborhood, as a few of the negatives.

Neighbor Maggie McFarland raised concerns at the meeting about the noise and smell of the chickens. They wake her and her daughter up, often before sunrise, she said.

McFarland also talked about safety and health concerns for the hens themselves, noting that they are walking free in a busy alley, have no proper pen and that they were fed “questionable food,” which could be dangerous for the eggs that were being given away, she said.

There have also been more vermin and predators in the area, she added.

All of this, plus the increased attention that the issue has brought, has made the neighborhood less enjoyable, she said.

“There really is no quiet enjoyment, that the residents are entitled to in our neighborhood,” McFarland said.

The chickens’ owner, Michael Resk, also spoke, saying that the hens are not only his pets, but the entire community’s.

“It was never my intent to ruffle anyone’s feathers with the ladies,” Resk said. He just wanted to bring joy to his home and the neighborhood, he said, and if they got rid of any “icky pests,” than all the better, he added.

Resk also said he was amazed at the community support he has gotten for “the ladies.”

After the decision, Resk thanked the council for taking the time to review the ordinance. He is planning a “farewell party” for the hens either Feb. 24 or 25.

Resk has previously said that he may move to Texas. The hens may go with him or be adopted locally.

The hens, nicknamed the “Goldenrod 6,” have been at the center of a flap in Corona del Mar since a neighbor filed a noise complaint in mid-December.

 

 

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  1. We love our chickens! We have 2 Delawares here in Freeport, NY. They saetrtd laying this week! They are a lot less work than we anticipated, except that they really do eat everything in the yard. We like letting them roam free around the yard when we’re out there, though. The destruction is worth watching them play with my daughter and her great-grandmother! Four generations and 2 chickens you just can’t beat it!