The Rockland City Council has put chickens on the back burner.

The council voted 3-2 to indefinitely postpone action on the proposal put forth by Councilor Elizabeth Dickerson that has been debated for five months. The June 13 vote means the matter is not scheduled for another session but can be brought back by Dickerson.

Councilor Eric Hebert said he had nothing against chickens but felt that more work was needed, citing disparities between regulations for different zones in the city.

Dickerson said that imposing the same regulations in all the zones where chickens would be allowed would mean that people who now have chickens would have to undertake expensive improvements.

“Why would we add such a burden?” Dickerson asked.

Current ordinances allow chickens in Residential B zones. The proposed ordinance change would allow people to keep up to six hens in the Residential A zones. No roosters would be allowed in the A zones. The original proposal allowed the chickens to also be raised in Residential AA zones but that was deleted after opposition from some residents in those areas. Residential AA zones include Pen Bay Acres and the Samoset Road.

The restrictions proposed for the A zones would also require that chicken pens be kept no closer than 15 feet from the property line.

“I never expected it would be such a hotbed to have six chickens,” Dickerson said.

The public spoke out on the matter during the public comment session.

Everett Spear III of Summer Street voiced support for the ordinance to allow an expansion of chickens in Rockland. He said it was good to allow people to eat things that they raise.

“Sharing eggs with neighbors creates a sense of community,” Spear said.

Michael Shunney of Cedar Street said he also supported allowing chickens to be raised in the city.

Glenn Billington of Admontem Avenue said he did not want chickens in his neighborhood and that he does not believe the case had been made for a change to current law.