Urban livestock proposal in Battle Creek tabled

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BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- The issue of whether residents can own farm animals in the city of Battle Creek was hotly discussed at Tuesday night's city commission meeting before the proposal was put on hold due to a tie vote.

The urban livestock plan would allow people within the city limits to own animals such as chickens, goats, rabbits, and bees.

There was a 4-4 deadlock vote from the commission on whether to introduce the plan. That means the issue needs to be re-introduced at a future commission meeting.

Supporters of the plan say they want to raise their own food and know exactly where their food is coming from.

"What we do know is families are becoming more self sufficient. They want to know, What can I do to sustain my family?" said one supporter. "I'm tied to a grocery store for a lot of things in my life. I don’t want to be tied to a grocery store for my eggs, for my vegetables, or for my honey. And people are going to feed themselves. It’s going to happen.”

Some against the idea say that having farm animals in the city will cause unnecessary problems.

“Where do we draw the line?" a man who is against the proposal asked during public comment. "That’s why there are ordinances in this city, why there’s zoning in this city.”

"We came to the city because we wanted city living," said a woman. "We didn’t move here because we wanted to live around goats, chickens and everything else."

Officials say the number of animals people would be allowed to have would depend on the size of their property.

The next Battle Creek Commission meeting is May 16.

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