A debate over chickens gets heated in Muscatine

Local News

A debate over chickens gets heated in Muscatine, it came when the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission held its first hearing about letting more people raise chickens.

Commissioner Robert McFadden made a comment during the meeting some people find offensive.

He said he worries people wouldn’t be able to take care of chickens properly because some
people don’t even mow their lawns.

It’s been two weeks since the Muscatine City Council decided to look into lowering the chicken restrictions, but some city officials including Robert McFadden.

“They’re farm animals they need to be on the farm so I think we need a cut off at some place and half an arce is too small,” said McFadden.

Meagan Koehler is a Muscatine resident she said she’s in favor of the city lower the restrictions and said she feels that a comment made by McFadden was inappropiate.

“There were quite a few of us that were pretty offended after hearing some of the things he had to say it was out of line,” said Koehler.

McFadden however says that his words were taken out of context.

“What I meant was some people don’t even mow their own grass on small lots let alone take care of chickens you know not all people you know most people in Muscatine mow their own grass but there a lot small lots they don’t even mow grass let alone take care of chickens,” said McFadden.

Koehler believes those comments shouldn’t have been made and feel that people have the right to decide what animals they want to have.

“That doesn’t change that that’s what he said and he made it very clear that that’s how he feels,” said Koehler. “We’re willing to take on that responsiblity and be responsible owners that should be our right to do so.”

If that’s what people want, McFadden is willing to change his mind.

“Participate in discussions is a good thing and if there’s enough people that want to have chickens there’s not enough people against it I could change my vote,” said McFadden.

The chicken issue will move to Muscatine’s City Council for a public hearing in June.
The proposal has to pass three readings before taking effect.

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