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Van Fossen’s rooster based on the court complaint and that she is grateful the city proposed the ordinance amendment that would ban roosters in the city.
“During the hearing today, I was accused of being hypersensitive,” she said.
But she said she had logs of a rooster crowing and recordings of the rooster taken from her bedroom early in the morning. She played a recording of the rooster at 5 a. m. and asked the Council members what they would do if they had to listen to it in their homes.
“We so appreciate you taking this issue on … this has been a great problem for us. It’s really affected our lives and our sleeping. We’re weary and tired of the stress of this,” Edmondson said.
Van Fossen told the Council he’s heard from other neighbors who don’t think his rooster is bothersome. He said his rooster is a “joy” to his neighbors and their children.
He said the trend across the country is to convert neighborhoods into local gardens for food production instead of “pesticide-sprayed yards.” Van Fossen said while the country and Decorah are moving in that direction, the city shouldn’t be considering the elimination of something that’s currently allowed under the city’s zoning ordinance.
City Manager Chad Bird noted the amendment to ban roosters is not a zoning ordinance nor a zoning-related matter.
Van Fossen said having a rooster causes hens to lay better and induces “broodiness.” He presented the Council with a carton of eggs produced by his hens.
Dan Edmondson said he and his wife never attempted to represent their entire neighborhood. He said his home is impacted because Van Fossen’s rooster and chickens are enclosed on the north side of his lot adjacent to the Edmondsons’ lot.
“The activity is right next to our residence and our bedroom is right over it and we can hear it any time of day or night. The other neighbors aren’t necessarily bothered … in this case we are the sufferers. We’ve got no other way to address this than to complain for ourselves.”
After the second reading of the ordinance was unanimously approved Monday night, the Council voted to waive the third and final reading and adopt the ordinance, which will go into effect Jan. 1. The ordinance does not include a provision for “grandfathering” existing roosters.
The ordinance states: “The city
of Decorah finds that for the protection of the health, safety and welfare of residents of the city, to keep the peace and good order of the community and to preserve the enjoyment of life and property, the keeping of rosters within the corporate city limits should be prohibited.”
The ordinance does not apply to bringing a rooster into the city on a temporary basis –seven days or less during a calendar year –for:
• Exhibits, such as the Winneshiek County Fair
• Educational purposes
• Veterinarian care.