The Blacksburg town council has requested that the Planning Commission consider potential changes to the town code and zoning ordinances that would permit the keeping of chickens in town.

Blacksburg is considering changes to zoning and codes to allow chicken keeping in some single-family residential areas. Since 2016, a Christiansburg urban agriculture permit has allowed raising chickens and keeping bees. Chickens, like these, are also kept in Radford.

An Urban Chicken Resolution noted the town’s current ordinance established in 1997 limits chicken keeping to rural parcels of two or more acres, but recognized the national trend in keeping chickens in towns and cities.

Blacksburg resident Dan McKeague, who has no chickens currently, met with Mayor Hager-Smith last summer to talk about the history and possible future for chickens in town.

“The main reason for us, is outside of the obvious benefits of having our own eggs, with small kids, it’s a great way to get children exposed to urban agriculture and where their food comes from,” he said.

This has been a quiet effort. McKeague felt there isn’t a need for a raucous advocacy effort since urban chicken keeping not a radical idea, although he did expect there would be public discussion on the subject.

Neighboring towns also keep chickens. Christiansburg has allowed limited agricultural operations: raising chickens and keeping bees, in single-family residential areas since 2016.

Last year, 86…

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