Proposed livestock ordinance ruffles some feathers in Carnation

CARNATION, Wash. – A proposed ordinance limiting livestock in a rural King County community was ruffling some feathers Tuesday night.

The city manager of Carnation wants to address what he says were complaints by some in town about noise and filth caused from chickens, ducks, and other animals.  Tuesday night, more than 20 people showed up to push back against the proposed ordinance.

“We have friends who have chickens. My mom got some chickens. And they’re just such interesting animals and they produce eggs,” said Elizabeth Harrison, who owns several chickens.

That’s why Elizabeth and Chad Harrison lover their chickens; each with a name and own personality.  But a new proposed city ordinance could mean some of them would have to go.

“It seems like it was kind of a fast knee-jerk reaction to some complaints about roosters,” said Harrison.

It includes limiting a flock of chickens from 10 to just four and forbidding cows, pigs, goats, and other fowl.  The proposal hatched up emotions on both sides during the City Council meeting.

“When you have animals and they begin to affect your neighbors in a negative way, we have to look at that,” said Carnation City Manager Phil Messina.

“Create one hell of a stink and rat problem at the same time if you don’t take care of it,” said Carnation Mayor Jim Berger.

Two 20-year-old ordinances contradict each other.  City Council members argue the city’s changed since the 1990s and those old rules can’t stay.

“We’re not trying to make it smaller. We’re trying to make it so it’s current. And looks like we have some contradiction,” said Carnation City Council member Fred Bereswill.

Ultimately, the council decided to table the conversation with many questions left unanswered.

“We’re not dirty, we’re not messy, we’re not trying to be a nuisance. We’re just trying to live our life in our little, cute, country town,” said Harrison.