Madisonville Alderman Chris Hitzman

Madisonville is once again grappling with chicken issues.

Some residents have complained periodically over the past several years about chickens roaming their neighborhoods and roosters waking them with early morning crowing.

At the request of Councilman Chris Hitzman, who says he’s been personally affected, the town council discussed what could be done about the birds at its Jan. 9 meeting.

Hitzman said his research indicated that all towns in the surrounding area prohibit the ownership of chickens and said he wanted to explore the issue.

Councilman Brad Haddox suggested that the wording of the town’s animal ordinance, which now refers primarily to dogs and requires owners to keep them under control, could be amended to refer to fowl, as well.

Other councilmen questioned how such an ordinance could be enforced, and Councilman Kevin Doran said an outright ban might be the only solution.

On the other hand, Councilman Tim Bounds, who was raised on a farm, said he enjoys hearing roosters crow in the morning.

Mayor Jean Pelloat brought the discussion to a close by asking Hitzman to draft an ordinance for the council’s consideration. Hitzman said he would.

In other matters, the council heard a presentation by Tony Zolenka, the owner of DeZaire Marina, describing a plan to lease part of the marina land to Shane Waller, who would build a Blind Tiger restaurant there.

Waller already operates Blind Tigers in Bay St. Louis and Biloxi, Mississippi, and in Slidell, and another is under construction in Covington. The Madisonville location would measure just less than 3,000 square feet and would seat as many as 130 diners in a family-friendly setting.

Zolenka said he plans to ask for a conditional use variance so a restaurant could be operated on the land, which is zoned to be a marina.

Pelloat explained that the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission had decided that the variance was preferable to commercially rezoning the property, and said that Zolenka’s request would be on the council’s Feb. 13 agenda.