The Deer Park Planning Commission voted unanimously (member Kathy DeRosier was absent) on Monday to recommend to the city council that the ban on agricultural animals in the city limits remain in effect.
The planning commission was charged with looking into the issue in October after it was discovered that some city residents were raising â€śbackyard chickensâ€ť on their property.
Commission Chair Dan Berg said the issue had taken a lot of the planning groupâ€™s time since they began looking into the matter in February.
During those times the item was on the agenda, the concept of backyard chickens received overwhelming support for residents. On Monday, two city residents, making their first appearance in front of the planning commission, voiced their support for raising the animals.
â€śI believe we have the right to self-sustain,â€ť said Hazel McVillary.
In making their recommendation, planning commission members noted that allowing agricultural animals would create enforcement problems for an all ready short-staffed enforcement staff, it would reduce property values in the long run and could create health problems for neighbors.
The planning commission recommendation will be taken up by the city council, which will have the final say in the matter. The earliest the council can discuss the matter is at its July 6 meeting.