New Ulm Council faces decision on urban chickens tonight


defined by chicken subcommittee

By Clay Schuldt

Staff Writer

NEW ULM – The City Council is expected to decide Tuesday whether to amend City Code to allow chickens in New Ulm.

At its June 3 meeting, the City Council received a request from Tony Guggisberg and the Happy Hen Committee to allow chickens be kept within the incorporated boundary of the city. Supporters of the urban chickens attended the meeting and spoke in favor of the code change. However, a few spoke out against the amendment.

No official decision was made because the Council felt the issue needed to be examined further.

A chicken subcommittee was established consisting of Councilor Les Schultz, Councilor Ken RockVam, Police Chief Myron Wieland, Tony Guggisberg, and veterinarian Sharon Hurley. The committee developed regulations for urban chickens.

The following rules and regulations were recommended by the subcommittee:

– No more than four hens (no roosters or other types of poultry)

– Chickens are to be confined at all times (no free range chickens)

– Chickens are allowed in R-1 and R-2 zones only, with restrictions on duplexes and apartments.

– Chicken feed/food is to be contained in rodent proof containers

– Chicken waste is to be removed weekly

– Dead chickens are to be removed within 24 hours from enclosures

– No slaughtering of chickens within the city

The subcommittee also established coop design standards.

If adopted, the ordinance would be for a trial test period of two years.

With the release of these recommendations, subcommittee members expressed their sentiments that chickens should not be allowed in city limits.

RockVam had previously stated that many residents in his ward opposed having chickens in residential areas, and he would likely vote against an amendment to ordinance.

In addition, while most of responses during the June 3 meeting favored urban chickens, city officials have since received letters/emails from anti-chicken supporting residents.


A public hearing will be held to allow comments on the proposed assessment to Lot 1, Block 1, of the Dacotah West Addition.

The 2007 gravel roadway improvements serving the addition was previously assessed on a unit basis. The developer did not pay any taxes or special assessments for five years and the bulk of the subdivision became tax-forfeited land.

Brown County and New Ulm established a purchase price on the lots with the intention of reassessing lots upon new construction. In April a certificate of occupancy was issued for the new construction for the specified lot. The amount proposed for assessment is $25,921.51.

20th South Bridge

A motion is expected to come from the council approving a contract with Widseth Smith Nolting & Associates to prepare a repair plan for the Bridge connecting 20th South Street to Nicollet County State Aid Highway 37.

During the past several years the surface of the concrete deck has developed areas of de-lamination and cracking. Approval of the contract would initiate the preparation of plans and specification with bid letting early in 2015.

The council meets at 5 p.m. at city hall.

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