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West Point • Some residents here will be sleeping better thanks to an ordinance approved Tuesday that bans roosters in their neighborhoods.
The West Point City Council voted 5-0 to prohibit the keeping of roosters in areas zoned residential. The ordinance does not affect hens, which still are permitted.
The new regulation stems from complaints by residents about being woken up at the crack of dawn by a cock-a-doodle-doo. Some said running fans and keeping windows closed couldn't drown out the noise. The West Point Planning Commission voted 4-2 last month to recommended the rooster ban and city staffers also supported the prohibition.
At a hearing Tuesday, Shayne Tueller told council members that roosters will crow at any hour and are impractical in subdivisions. Jason Poulsen agreed, saying that the noise from the fowl can be easily heard in residential neighborhoods "and it is a nuisance."
And James McCarrey pointed out that West Point was the only city in Davis County that allowed roosters in residential areas. He said the quality of his life has been hurt by a neighbor's rooster that crows each morning at dawn.
"When you don't sleep well, it affects your health," he said.
Supporters of backyard roosters argue that West Point is a rural area and roosters have been, and should continue to be, part of the life there. Phillip Eckersley said he has never gotten complaints and wondered how owners would dispose of their roosters if they weren't allowed to keep them.
Councilman Jerry Chatterton said the ordinance will be "complaint driven." Council members also agreed that the ordinance would not be enforced in Bingham Estates for now while they consider allowing roosters in that subdivision, which is zoned medium-density residential but has big lots and is surrounded by agricultural land.
The issue of backyard fowl is scheduled to be discussed in another community. At a Wednesday meeting, the Salt Lake County Planning Commission will consider ordinance changes that would limit the scope of "animals and fowl for family food production" in some residential areas.