Council backs off
on rooster ban, 5-4

The bill would have
prohibited the birds on
residential property

By Crystal Kua

Rooster enthusiasts crowed in victory yesterday after the City Council scratched a bill for now that would have banned roosters from residential areas.

Dozens of the bill's opponents, who filled more than half of the Council chambers, cheered when, by a vote of 5-4, the Council deferred taking action on the bill that would have allowed roosters only on agricultural property.

"I can understand that there is a problem in various areas with roosters crowing and what it does to neighbors," Councilwoman Darrlyn Bunda said. "However, I'm not convinced that this bill as it's written now is going to solve anything."

Bunda said she would like to see a compromise reached so the Council does not have to legislate a solution. She especially urged opponents to come up with a plan so they can "still have their cake and eat it, too," by keeping their roosters and chickens while not infringing on others' peace and enjoyment.

Andrew Jamilla Jr. said that he lives in a section of Waimanalo that is zoned residential but is within a rural community.

"As far as an enforcement opportunity, that would be hard because right behind my house is (agriculture) land already," Jamilla said. "Chickens are just part of our lifestyle."

But Tracey Idica, a public school teacher, said that the noise from crowing roosters at night has become a health issue for her. "My health is challenged if I can't sleep. How can I do my job as teacher if I can't sleep the night before?"

Councilman Jon Yoshimura, who wanted the bill approved with an amendment to delay the effective date for six months as an incentive to find solutions, said the Council's deferral effectively killed any further chance of reaching a settlement.

"Nothing will ever get done," Yoshimura said. "If we defer today, everybody goes home and it's the status quo."

City & County of Honolulu

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