Chickens on ballot in Town of Cascade

chicken

Ballots are out in Cascade County and chickens are one, but not in the City of Great Falls.

This summer, the Town of Cascade council voted to put the question of whether chickens should be allowed within the town limits.

Currently, chickens and other fowl are banned in the town limits.

There are no rules for chickens included in the ballot language, but if voters choose to allow them, the town council will then create rules. 

Those rules, according to the town, include but are not limited to whether roosters are allowed, how many chickens a resident can keep, how much space will be required and who will enforce the rules.

The rules must be in place before chickens will be allowed, according to the town.

It’s a mail ballot election and no polling places will be open for voting, according to the town.

For questions regarding ballots or registering to vote, call the county elections office at 406-454-6803 or go to their website.

Chickens are legal in the county, but Cascade and Belt are incorporated towns with their own rules.

Chickens remain prohibited in the City of Great Falls.

In May, a local couple said they were working on a new urban chicken proposal, but in June said they were dropping their effort.

Couple drops effort to revive urban chicken initiative

A number of attempts have been made to legalize backyard hens once again in the city since a 2007 city ordinance change outlawed backyard hens in all but one city zoning district.

Chickens were on the 2017 ballot and failed by a vote of 6,646 against to 6,040 in favor.

Attempts to amend city code to allow chickens in most zoning districts failed in 2011 and a Great Falls couple, Cheryl Reichert and Charles Bocock, filed a civil lawsuit against the city in 2016 over the chicken ordinance and their multiple citations for illegal chickens. That lawsuit is still pending in District Court.