In Centennial, chickens count, but not hamsters

Posted 8/8/12

It’s true. The City of Centennial will no longer count your hamsters. And they’re pretty much done with any goldfish, mice and parakeets you’ve …

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In Centennial, chickens count, but not hamsters

Posted

It’s true.

The City of Centennial will no longer count your hamsters.

And they’re pretty much done with any goldfish, mice and parakeets you’ve been hiding, too.

Thanks to a new ordinance passed on Aug. 6, the City’s Municipal Code finally agrees with its Land Development Code and more precisely defines those critters that will be considered a pet — and those that won’t.

Basically, what the new ordinance means for residents is that the city will permit up to four regulated species of pets, defined in the ordinance as cats and dogs, and a maximum of six chickens.

The ordinance requires chickens be contained in a covered enclosure between dusk and dawn, and specifically prohibits roosters over the age of six months.

But the decision to up the number of chickens doesn’t exactly have everyone crowing for joy.

While the previous code permitted up to four chickens within the city, council approved a 50 percent bump to a total of six.

Some residents who attended the public hearing expressed concern regarding the potential for noise, odor and unsightly chicken coops.

Others, like Michelle Kopriva, suggest the same problems exist for regulated animals such as dogs.

“There are good dog owners and there are bad dog owners,” Kopriva said. “There are dogs that are loud, there are dogs that are smelly and there are dogs that are yappy…Chickens can be loud and smelly, and they can be a nuisance, but really it’s the owner’s responsibility to take care of them.”

As for hamsters, guinea pigs, goldfish and such?

They now fall in the unregulated pet category, meaning those customarily kept in a cage, aquarium or pond, and as long as there’s not a complaint, the city will not count those toward the numerical limitation.

Except for rabbits and the maximum number of six chickens, livestock will be prohibited with the exception of those areas permitted in the 2011 Land Development Code.

Wildlife, with the exception of birds maintained and permitted through the Colorado Parks and Wildlife or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is prohibited.

“This ordinance represents the final step to bring council regulations that protect and preserve the character and value of our neighborhood by addressing real world problems,” said Wayne Reed, director of Community Development. “Because of the public process we have followed and the input we have received, this is truly an effort to tailor the solutions to our community.”

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