Anyone who wants to speak to commissioners about the code proposals has three minutes to do so.
Tuesday’s meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the boardroom at 100 Cherokee St. in Marietta.
The final public hearing, after which commissioners are expected to take a vote, is scheduled for Feb. 26.
The chicken ordinance, proposed by commissioners Helen Goreham and Bob Ott, would require people who want backyard poultry on lots smaller than 2 acres to obtain a special land-use permit.
Rob Hosack, the county’s community development director, said typically the county charges a $1,000 fee for filing special land-use permits. But both Goreham and Ott have spoken about reducing the fee.
“That fee is set because there are a number of things that have to be looked at by the county staff as far as outside engineers go versus with backyard poultry that wouldn’t be necessary because there wouldn’t need to be a whole lot of engineering studies done,” Hosack said.
Another controversial code change proposed by Ott and Commissioner JoAnn Birrell would require contractors doing business with the county to apply for federal IMAGE certification, which stands for ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers.
IMAGE is a federal program that audits the hiring records of a company or government to determine whether people on the entity’s payroll are lawfully employed.
That proposal has commissioners divided in a similar way they were over the controversial 2011 property tax vote.
During the property tax hike vote, Republicans Ott and Birrell voted against the tax hike, while Republicans Goreham and Tim Lee voted for it. Similarly, while Ott and Birrell are pushing the IMAGE proposal, Lee and Goreham have raised objections to it.
Commissioner Lisa Cupid, a Democrat who took office in January, is expected to be the swing vote on the matter.
One of the concerns Goreham has raised with the IMAGE program is what happens in the event of an emergency if the county needs a contractor for repairs but can’t find one who has applied for IMAGE certification.
Hosack said the code proposal addresses this concern by allowing for the hiring of a contractor who hasn’t applied with IMAGE in an emergency.
Goreham has also voiced concerns that the county could lose its competitive edge if it is forced to use only IMAGE certified contractors.