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Chicken Conflict: Anamosa Council to Consider Urban Chicken Ordinance

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JONES COUNTY, Iowa — An Anamosa man is pushing for a chicken ordinance after the city booted the birds, back in April.

Raising chickens within city limits is becoming more common. Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo and Dubuque all allow chickens, but with regulations.

Now, an Anamosa man is asking for a similar rule so he can be reunited with his chickens.

Christopher Bonifazi’s five hens have a new home just outside of Monticello, but he’s hoping their stay on his friend’s farm is only temporary.

“They have taken refuge at Monk’s Chicken — I call it Doug Monk’s Chicken Refuge ... while this process slowly goes on in Anamosa,” Bonifazi said.

Bonifazi kept his chickens in a coop in the backyard of his Anamosa home until he got a notice form the city in the beginning of April, then he moved them out of town.

After someone brought up the chicken issue with the city, police went to Bonifazi’s home with a copy of city code. The city gave him 72 hours to get rid of the hens.

“The code does not authorize chickens in town. He has since come back to the council and asked us to consider passing an ordinance that would allow chickens,” said Anamosa City Council Member Bill Feldmann.

The city’s attorney is currently drafting an ordinance. Feldmann said he’s not sure how he’ll vote yet, but he has his own opinions.

“Personally, I don’t want chickens in town,” Feldmann said.

The council member said he wants to hear from more people as the city considers this new ordinance.

As for Bonifazi, he just wants this chicken conflict to come to an end so they can leave his friend’s farm.

“I know he is anxious, as we are, for the day that the chickens can come home,” Bonifazi said.

The hen owner said he’s pushing for this, not only to keep his hens, but as a matter of upholding liberties. Council members said they would discuss the drafted ordinance at the June 23 meeting.

l Comments: 319-398-8268; jill.kasparie@kcrg.com