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‘Urban chickens’ proposal could go to Sturgis voters in 2024

It’s possible Sturgis voters will decide in 2024 if city residents are allowed to have chickens on their property. 

In March, city commissioners referred a recommendation to Sturgis Planning Commission for development of an “urban chicken” ordinance. Since then, the planning board has assessed input from community members and structured a framework for such an ordinance. 

Although the planning board did not recommend allowing chickens within the city limits, it deferred to city commissioners for how to proceed, including putting the matter to a public vote. 

At its July 26 meeting, Sturgis City Commission members agreed to begin the process of placing it on the August 2024 ballot. 

Prior to the board’s decision, William Prichard, community development director, outlined details of the planning commission’s ordinance suggestions. He summarized details such as license fees, enclosure requirements and how many chickens would be allowed at a residence. 

City commission members expressed disparate views about the concept of chicken-keeping and residents’ motivation to do so, but agreed the prudent approach is to have city staff create a draft for a ballot measure, then review, revise as necessary, and formalize it. 

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