Commissioner Bill Irmscher proposed the addition to a lengthy list of staff recommendations during a caucus discussion Monday.
Mayor Evie McNiece and Commissioner Kim Canada expressed support for the proposal, while Commissioners Bill Collins and Sue Lee said it would not allow many residents to raise poultry.
Still, Commissioner Jamie Doss said the debate has changed since last year, when a majority of board members wanted to ban the birds outright.
“This is a step in the right direction. … This was the extreme ‘no’ moving toward the center,” Doss said. “This is good.”
The board held a first reading Monday on an unusual recommendation from the Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission that will be put to a public hearing Jan. 28. The citizen group split 5-5 on the question of eliminating a zoning provision that allows poultry in certain areas of the city with a special use permit.
“That wasn’t what we asked them to do,” Commissioner Buzz Wachsteter said.
Tentative plans are for the City Commission to send the adjusted staff recommendations to the planning commission’s Feb. 7 meeting and ask for an up or down vote. The elected board would then be free to take action on the proposal.
Commissioners have been wrestling with the issue of urban poultry since early 2012 and want to put the controversy behind them soon.
“We are getting to it,” Collins said. “We will get this done.”
Monday was the board’s first meeting of the year and the Commission unanimously returned McNiece to the mayor’s seat for the third year in a row. Doss was chosen as mayor pro tem, to serve in McNiece’s absence.
Commissioners also set the qualifying fees for the November elections that will fill the three Ward 2 seats and all seven Rome Board of Education seats. Fees are $252 for the Commission races and $126 for the school board races.