Brownwood City Council members approved unrelated ordinances on first readings Tuesday pertaining to the regulation of animals.

One of the ordinances pertained to the keeping of chickens inside city limits. Council members began discussing proposed changes in the existing ordinance after council member Ed McMillian asked that the ordinance be reviewed and expanded to be more lenient.

Previously, the ordinance did not restrict the number of chickens that can be kept but stated each bird must be kept in a pen or coop, with a minimum space of 100 square feet per bird.

The Planning and Zoning Board met three times on the ordinance and voted for several changes including: • Added “no livestock other than chickens” can be kept. • Added “no emu, ducks, geese, guinea, roosters, turkey or any other fowl other than chickens” can be kept. • Added “chicken coops and/or pens are restricted to backyards only, and must be a minimum of 10 feet from a neighboring property and a minimum of 50 feet from a neighboring occupied structure or offsite receptor.” • Added a restriction of eight hens per residence, with no roosters allowed. The proposed ordinance requires coops for four square feet per bird and a minimum space for runs (or pens) of 15 square feet per bird.

After council members reviewed the ordinance at its July 23 meeting, council members requested several changes including removing roosters from the list of prohibited species and the number of chickens allowed to 10 hens per lot, except for property in the zoning districts RR, C-1, C-2, M-1 and A-1.

Council members also approved an ordinance on first reading pertaining to the keeping of dogs and cats.

The City Council held a town hall meeting last year to talk about possibly amending the city’s ordinance regulating the keeping of animals in the city.

After consulting with animal control officer Don Plate, staff suggested adopting an ordinance which:

• Requires that rabies vaccinations be current rather than given annually.

• Adopts state law regulating dangerous dogs and adds to the definition of a dangerous dog.

• Adds a new section which was not addressed in the current ordinance regulating the care and treatment of animals, sanitary conditions, confinement of dogs and cats in vehicles and the requirement of dog owners to clean up after their pets.