NORFOLK, Neb. (KCAU) — Backyard chickens will now be allowed to be kept in Norfolk city limits after Monday’s city council meeting.

The Norfolk City Council voted on the third reading of two ordinances regarding allowing chickens and ducks to be allowed in city limits. The first ordinance would amend Section 4-4 and other necessary parts of the city code to include the exception of hens, bantam hens, or ducks with a valid permit. It passed 5-3 with Corey Granquist, Frank Arens, and Kory Hildebrand voting no.

The second ordinance amended Section 2-5 of the city code to include a permit fee for keeping hens, bantam hens, or ducks. It passed 6-2 with Ganquist and Hildebrand voting against it.

The Norfolk city code considers hens, bantam hens, and ducks as livestock, with livestock not being allowed in the city limits unless being transported, held at a veterinarian clinic, sold, held for slaughter, or used as part of an animal-drawn vehicle. With the new ordinance though, hens, bantam hens, and ducks will be allowed through a permit.

The permit will only be allowed at residential properties. and any person wanting one must apply for one through the city’s Planning and Development Department. The permits will be valid for the calendar year and expire on December 31 of that year, so a permit holder will need to obtain a new permit by January 1 of the next year. Additionally, as part of the permit application, a resident must get written approval from 75% of property owners within 200 feet of the applicant’s property. Residents will also only be allowed four chickens at the residence.

Chickens will only be allowed in a chicken enclosure in the rear yard and it must be properly covered and fenced. Chickens will also not be allowed to run at large. A permit will cost $15.

The two ordinances passed the first reading at the city council meeting on March 6 and the second read on March 20