Ranch's Chicken Pens Plan OK'd

US - City Hall has a new idea aimed at cleaning up a local stink.
calendar icon 16 August 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Council members on Monday approved a plan that Community Development Director John McMains said could lead to "significantly noticeable reductions in flies and odors" around a local chicken ranch.

Monday's decision allows city staffers to make an agreement with Hoover Ranch - one of the county's last functioning chicken ranches - that would allow the fowl to be moved from elevated cages to pens where chickens would be able to walk on the ground.

The way chicken coops are currently set up, manure can collect in piles and become a breeding ground for flies, McMains said.

Letting the birds live on the ground could prevent their waste from accumulating in gobs, and chickens could control the fly population by munching on insect larvae.

Hoover Ranch's plans had to go before the council because the ranch, near the crossing of Carter and Jefferson streets, is in a northeast Yucaipa residential zone, McMains said.

McMains said Yucaipa staffers wanted the council to confirm that existing laws allow the ranch to modify its facilities without obtaining a new permit for its operations.

The council voted 4 to 1 in favor of Hoover Ranch's plans.

Councilman Tom Masner dissented because he wanted Hoover Ranch to face a penalty if ranch operators fail to cut down on fly and odor problems.

No one at Hoover Ranch could be reached for comment Tuesday. In an April 24 letter to McMains, Jim Hoover wrote that the planned changes would mean that 60,000 fewer chickens would live at the ranch.

Source: Sbsun.com
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