HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A local woman wants to raise chickens in her backyard.
She says it's a matter of life or death for her son.
The homeowner lives in the Bridge Creek Subdivision in Socastee.
She says she's been voicing her concerns at council meetings because it's a medical reason for her son, not just for the luxury of having chickens in her backyard.
Her son is intolerant to many foods, and even doctors can't pinpoint exactly what's wrong with him.
But the chickens' eggs are a staple in his diet.
They don't make him sick like other foods.
She says he eats anywhere between a dozen alone a week, and it's one item he can eat that's not costly.
At one point, Whitney had chickens and a rooster in her back yard.
But when neighbors started complaining to the county and police, she got rid of them.
Then she decided to take action by having her voice heard about why they were a necessity to council meetings.
"They don't understand what I go through on a daily basis to keep my child alive, and that's been a struggle from day one since he's been born, we were just in Charleston having a procedure done for him, if people put themselves in my shoes, they might be a little more compassionate about what I'm trying to do for my son," Whitney Craig said.
The initial reading was approved on an 8-to-4 vote, but it's what came up after that, is what's raising eyebrows.
If the ordinance passes two more readings and becomes a policy, those who want to raise chickens would submit their application, along with a $200 fee, to the county's zoning board of appeals.
That $200 fee would go toward taking out a newspaper advertisement notifying residents of a public comment period, and also notifying the applicant's neighbors of the change.
Craig says she's thankful the county passed its first reading, but feels like she took another setback when they brought up the $200 fee.
"I make at least four trips a month to doctors in Charleston, I have to pay for every medication that he has because it has to be compounded and insurance doesn't pay for that, his food that I buy is extremely expensive, so a $200 fee might not seem like anything to them but it's a lot to us," Craig said.
If you want to be able to share your opinion, attend the Horry County Council meeting Tuesday night at 6.