Two months after a resident asked the Town of Selma to allow chickens within the town limits, the Selma Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to deny the request.
Angela Parrish appeared before town leaders in December asking officials to consider allowing chickens in residential neighborhoods.
Parrish, who lives on Bennett Drive, said at the time current ordinances did not permit chicken coops, but said some property owners already have them, although it is illegal under present ordinances.
Parrish said cities like Cary, Raleigh, Richmond, Baltimore, Chicago and New York City allow backyard chickens.
She said chickens are a good resource of food, make great pets, produce eggs and fertilizer, reduce household food costs, eat weeds and food scraps, and reduce the carbon footprint. Backyard chickens could also be the starting point for an egg sharing program with neighbors.
In a unanimous vote, the town board rejected the request.
Councilman Mark Petersen said, “What is trendy in Apex and Cary is viewed entirely different in Selma and Johnston County.”
In June 2012, the Smithfield Town Council unanimously rejected a request by a property owner to allow up to 8 chickens per household. In voting no, the board said, chickens could potentially create an unmanageable workload for the part-time code enforcement officer, create health issues, decrease property values, and could potentially discouraging people from locating to Smithfield. One proponent of the 2012 request suggested Smithfield rename the Ham & Yam Festival to the Ham, Yam & Egg Festival.
Another resident presented a petition signed by 71 homeowners saying they didn’t want to see Smithfield become “Chickenville.”