Jury rejects Northwood man’s chicken request

NORTHWOOD (AP) — A Northwood man has lost his court fight to keep chickens in his backyard but said he hasn’t given up.

It took a Worth County jury about 15 minutes Friday to find Leo Hendrick guilty of keeping chickens within city limits, in violation of Northwood’s city code. He was cited in September.

Hendrick must pay a $50 vine and court costs, which are still being determined. Despite losing his case, Hendrick said he’ll still try to keep his dozen chickens. It’s important as he and his wife try to feed their family healthy food that is free of pesticides, he said.

Hendrick said he plans to speak at an upcoming city zoning board meeting and a city council session, imploring them to change city regulations. Until then, his chickens will stay with a friend whose home meets zoning rules for such animals.

“That’s where they will be going, at least for a while until we get this all straightened out,” Hendrick said.

Northwood City Attorney John Greve called the entire episode a waste of time and money.

“The reason I am upset about this case is that it has been a parade of motions and pretrial conferences to protect his so-called rights. He knew when he bought this property that there was a zoning regulation about chickens,” Greve said.