Debate Over Urban Agriculture Reaches Metro Council - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Debate Over Urban Agriculture Reaches Metro Council


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - In Nashville it's illegal to keep domestic farm animals in most parts of the city, but the city's health code said they are okay if they are not a nuisance.

James Snyder loves his domesticated turkeys and a dozen or so chickens. He said it was his right to raise chickens so he can feed the eggs to his family.

"I don't think it's anybody's business what we do. I pay my property taxes. I own this house," said Snyder.

Some people thought Snyder was breaking the law because he does not live on a farm. Many people thought chickens and turkeys should be kept on a farm because of the noise and smell.

Snyder said he keeps his Donelson yard clean so there was no odor and very little noise.

"About all you'll hear any of my hens do is cluck," said Snyder. "The planes are louder. That's more noise than the chickens and the turkeys will ever make." 

Metro's zoning law said domestic farm animals are not allowed in many parts of Nashville. However, there was some confusion because Metro's health code said they are okay as long as they are not a nuisance.

The issue is headed to the Metro Council to clarify just how many chickens or turkeys a homeowner is allowed to have within the city limits of Nashville.

Councilman Jason Holleman wanted to limit the number of chickens and birds you can keep in the city.

"I'm really worried about becoming the chicken man on the Metro Council and I hope that doesn't happen," said Holleman. "Chickens, quail, turkey, a few of those birds you can keep at a home."

You will be able to speak out on this issue at least twice. The Metro Planning Commission has a public hearing scheduled for August 27 and the Metro Council on September 1.

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