Which way, Mequon?

According to the Mequon Now website, the City Council in the Milwaukee suburb of Mequon is considering (gasp!) allowing people to keep chickens on lots smaller than 10 acres. The proposed ordinance would allow chickens on only 1.5 acres. We don’t know the average lot size in Mequon, but in most places that would qualify as a mini-estate, not a typical suburban lot.

Despite coming late to the chicken party, one Mequon council member has come out in favor of chickens because he thinks the more lenient ordinance would present an opportunity for Mequon to “be a leader among other communities”. We don’t know which way Mequon intends to lead, but even if you narrow your focus only to Ozaukee and Washington Counties, the opportunity for leadership seems to have already slipped away.

Mequon officials reported that River Hills allows chickens without any regulations; Wauwatosa allows four hens on any size parcel; Germantown allows up to 10 chickens but only on lots 2 acres and larger; Brookfield requires 3 acres; Cedarburg only allows chickens in agricultural districts and Port Washington doesn't allow chickens at all.

And just to guarantee that it will be as inconvenient as possible to raise chickens in Mequon, the proposed ordinance states that chicken coops may be no taller than 6 feet and no larger than 40 square feet. Who came up with that, we wonder. If that’s leadership, they’re leading in the wrong direction.