Spokane officials considering bringing the country to the city

SPOKANE, Wash. - Livestock isn't just for country living anymore, as the City of Spokane could soon allow small livestock livestock into its residents backyards.

A proposal from City Council President Ben Stuckart would allow certain type of livestock -- less than 150 pounds -- and smaller than 36-inches shoulder height, meaning you or your neighbors could have a farm animal living with them in the city.

In Spokane, country life can be so close. It's 1.5 miles from downtown close for Julie Henry, who lives on the South Hill, where she raises chickens for their eggs, and education for her children and neighbors alike.

"They'll eat anything and so the neighborhood shares the coop and the eggs," Henry said.

Soon she might get the opportunity to add to her coop if a new ordinance is approved by the city council people could have chickens, small sheep, pigs, or goats in their back yard.

"I would love to have a couple goats if this passes," Henry said.

It's based on square footage. On a 5,000 square foot lot you could have two small goats. On Henry's 25,000 square foot lot, she could have 10 goats or 25 chickens.

"People are wanting to eat fresh and take care of their property and share with their neighbors," Henry said.

Not everyone is so happy about this proposal.

"When you start bringing farm animals into urban environments, you're bringing a whole host of issues," Gary Redmond said.

Redmond said he's seen the issues chickens and small livestock can bring, "Such as flies, lice, rodents, rats."

He claims his neighbors built a chicken coop by his fence and says the ordinance won't help neighborhoods.

"It's going to pit neighbor against neighbor if there's an odor or noise problem. Or a drainage issue, lots of things like that, and it's going to cause trouble," Redmond said.

The proposal is in the beginning stages. Both sides like living in Spokane and near nature but have different ideas on the definition of "near perfect."

If people wanted to have those animals they'd need to pass a class or test through the WSU campus in Spokane. It should go before the city council in mid-March.