Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Chickens now legal in Gulfport; henpecked council relents

Suwannee Conroy-Baarsch, age 4, holds a Barred Rocks chicken outside her Gulfport home. After months of debate and comments from residents, the city has decided that residents can keep up to 10 chickens.

MARTHA RIAL | Times

Suwannee Conroy-Baarsch, age 4, holds a Barred Rocks chicken outside her Gulfport home. After months of debate and comments from residents, the city has decided that residents can keep up to 10 chickens.

GULFPORT — The great chicken debate is over, and the chickens won.

Residents of this funky Pinellas County city should be allowed to raise chickens without breaking the law, the City Council decided this week.

Until Tuesday's vote it was illegal to keep even one chicken in Gulfport. Now you can have up to 10.

Backyard chickens are a "huge movement going throughout the country,'' said council member Michele King, perhaps the most vocal advocate for backyard chicken coops. At one point during Tuesday's City Council meeting, she held up an Atlanta newspaper article about a Georgia "chicken whisperer."

"If we don't do this,'' King added, "we are not moving forward."

Council members Judy Ryerson and Bob Worthington voted against the measure.

The vote ends months of debate that prompted a flood of pro-chicken phone calls, letters and e-mails, and visions of tearful children.

"This has been before us many, many times before and generated a tremendous amount of discussion. I want this to be the final decision and vote," Mayor Michael Yakes told the council.

The great chicken debate began last summer when a member of a backyard chicken flock loudly announced she had laid an egg.

A nearby police officer heard the noise, investigated and cited the homeowner, Briggs Monteith, with violating city code.

Over the next six months, Monteith, his wife, Jennifer Conroy, and their two daughters — Peregrine, 7, and Suwanee, 4 — became regular visitors to City Hall as the council debated, voted for and then against allowing chickens in the city.

"I am here hopefully for the last time," Conroy said Tuesday, as her two daughters ran up to the podium to stand beside her.

Conroy held up a carton of eggs she said her chickens laid that morning, and asked the council members to "let our chickens rest easy and become legal citizens of Gulfport."

Chickens now legal in Gulfport; henpecked council relents 02/05/09 [Last modified: Friday, February 6, 2009 9:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Lightning, Amalie Arena to host job fair today

    Business

    TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Lightning and its home, Amalie Arena, are hosting a part-time job fair from 3 to 6 p.m. today on the Promenade Level of the arena. Available positions include platinum services, parking attendants, event security, housekeeping, retail and many other departments.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning and AMALIE Arena is hosting a part-time job fair on Thursday, Aug. 17 on the Promenade level of the arena.
  2. Nearly 1 in 4 Tampa Bay homeowners considered equity rich

    Real Estate

    If your home is worth at least 50 percent more than you owe, you're rich — equity rich that is.

    About one in four Tampa Bay homeowners are considered "equity rich." [Associated Press file photo]
  3. Trump strategist Steve Bannon: No military solution in North Korea

    National

    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury."

    Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, has drawn fire from some of Trump's closest advisers. [Associated Press]
  4. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  5. Dunedin man accused of possessing child pornography

    Crime

    DUNEDIN — A 57-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, accused of intentionally downloading child pornography, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Richard Beal Anger, 57, of Dunedin faces 11 counts of possession of child pornography. [Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]