Last week, Washington city council voted down an ordinance to allow chickens to be kept within city limits. The decision has ruffled a few feathers.
"I guess I wasn't terribly surprised, though I was very disappointed," says David Moechnig.
Moechnig has been working on getting a similar ordinance passed in East Peoria for about a year and a half. He says there's a lot of misconceptions about "urban chickens".
"Their immediate thought is these huge chicken farms where you've got a thousand chickens on the floor. The waste piles up," says Moechnig. "You don't get that when you have four or five chickens in a coop."
Washington officials cited some of those exact reasons as causes for concern when they voted the ordinance down.
"They were concerned about the odor that would come about from chickens, primarily an alderman that had cleaned chicken cages, coops in the past and the type of odor that would come about from them," says Jon Oliphant, planning and development director for the city of Washington.
Proponents of "urban chickens" say there are plenty of benefits to owning a couple of these feathered fowl.
"The major benefit is the eggs," says Moechnig. "With a movable tractor-style coop, you move them through the yard and they do pest control."
These benefits have begun to catch on around the country, giving supporters hope the ordinance could be revisited in the future.
"Green development and sustainability are important issues for communities around the country," says Oliphant. "Chickens are just something that's coming up that every city will probably address at some point."
Despite the no vote, Moechnig and others say they will continue to work to get the ordinance passed. An ordinance on urban chickens also went before the Normal city council last summer, but it was voted down.