ST. GEORGE -- Dorchester County Council tonight approved a preliminary vote to repeal a 2010 law restricting keeping hens or rabbits to properties of 1 acre or more and to replace it with a law that would open keeping 10 hens or rabbits to smaller residential lots of 7,500 square feet or more.

The vote was unanimous. If the change is approved in two following votes, it would become law.

Councilman David Chinnis, who proposed the change, said the hen-keeping wouldn’t be allowed in subdivisions where homeowners’ rules oppose it.

He said earlier that nuisance laws can be enforced if the hen-keeping becomes a health problem or something else.

Samm Creech, a resident in Greenhurst subdivision outside Summerville, was one of three residents who spoke to support the law. A complaint about a dozen or so hens she keeps led to a codes violation, and spurred her to contact Chinnis.

Read more later at and in tomorrow’s newspaper.