Chicken Sales Lead to Dallas Zoning Flap

People may be clucking to "eat local," but sometimes bringing a little bit of country into the city is sometimes harder than it looks.

A Dallas nursery wants to host a chicken breeder who will sell hens to people who want fresh eggs straight from their own back yard. But North Haven Gardens put the idea on hold after someone complained to the city about the monthly sale.

While it's legal to own chickens (but not roosters) in Dallas, city planners aren't sure if breeders can sell hens in the city, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Dan Probst, a former Dallas restaurateur-turned-chicken-breeder, holds seminars at the nursery on how to raise the birds and has been looking for a way to sell hens to urban chicken farmers in Big D.

City planner Jennifer Hiromoto told the newspaper that the city is trying to determine if Dallas ordinances allow hen sales. She plans to meet with Probst and Leslie Halleck, the manager of North Haven, this week with an answer.

Probst told the newspaper he was "confident" the city would work the matter out.

But it's not clear it will work out for North Haven Gardens because of zoning concerns.

North Haven manager Leslie Halleck said Dallas' zoning department nixed the idea because it didn't want the nursery to expand its business practices.

The land was zoned as residential when Dallas annexed it, and the existing nursery was grandfathered in.

North Haven argues that raising backyard chickens goes hand-in-hand with organic gardening and should be allowed under its zoning.

But Hiromoto told The Dallas Morning News that such "accessory uses" should be "customary and incidental." And the city isn't aware of another nursery that sells chickens, she said.

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