NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco County could soon join other governments in allowing residents to have backyard chicken coops.
County commissioners asked staff to bring back more information on the issue Tuesday after a group of residents signed petitions and sent emails supporting the right to have chickens in most residential areas.
The county currently allows the fowl only on its largest lots or in agriculturally zoned areas.
Commissioner Kathryn Starkey brought up the matter, noting that her niece, who lives in the Seminole Heights area, keeps chickens and brought her fresh eggs. Officials in Dade City recently passed their own rules banning free-roaming chickens, but allowing people in residential areas to keep up to six fowl in back yard coops.
Commissioner Pat Mulieri said she had no problem with allowing some chickens in back yards. "This is a forward thinking board," she said. "I'm so proud."
Commission chairman Ted Schrader supported researching the matter but urged his colleagues not to act in haste and pass any flawed rules.
"I think we need to proceed cautiously," he said.