SUFFOLK, Va. (WVEC)---The backyard hens movement in Suffolk gained momentum this week after a a vote from the planning commission.

Commissioners voted 6-2 in favor of a recommendation to change the city’s current ordinance on chicken outside of rural areas.

“I was absolutely thrilled to see that,” said Rebecca Franklin, a leader in the movement. “The biggest benefit obviously is fresh eggs.”

Under the city’s current ordinance, people aren’t allowed to have chickens in their backyards in residential areas.

The new ordinance would change that.

Franklin and hundreds of other people have been fighting for that change over the last year.

“It’s a long process, but we’re not going away,” said Franklin.

The most important vote will come this January, when city council either approves or rejects the planning commission recommendation.

However, if approved Suffolk would join Norfolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and Portsmouth as the sixth Hampton Roads city to allow them in residential backyards.