San Leandro residents who've run afoul of the law by keeping bees and chickens in their yards gathered at a community meeting Thursday where they spoke in favor of urban agriculture.
Most Bay Area cities have guidelines for keeping chickens and bees, but San Leandro has a longtime ban on backyard chicken coops and bee hives.
Some argued Thursday night for just lifting the ban, but the city is drafting a permit process.
"We need to set guidelines, and it's especially intended for those who can't meet the minimum qualifications," said Sandra Spagnoli, San Leandro police chief.
Some of the suggested qualifications include the number of chickens in relation to the size of the yard and requirements for their coop and care so neighbors aren't disturbed.
One family in attendance is heavily involved in 4-H and has nine chickens, and they're the noisiest at egg-laying time.
Under the new law, they'll need a permit for more than four hens.
"You get a little bit of that farm country living in the city," said Kristine Konrad, San Leandro chicken owner. "You learn where your food comes from. You learn how to take care of animals."
Bees were a concern for those allergic to bee stings.
But one council member, who's also allergic, said he's OK with the insects.
"I am not afraid of a neighbor having a beehive in their yard as long as it's done right," said Jim Prola, San Leandro city council member.
It was still unclear Thursday whether bee colonies will be banned in small yards.
"Many of those people may live with their backs to a creek or open space, so there's no rational reason for them to not have bees, but apparently this is a work in progress," said Scott Terry, a San Leandro beekeeper.
The work in progress will be adopted by summer, and then reviewed in a year. One thing's for sure: no roosters, because they're too noisy, according to the city.