No votes were taken last night, nothing was officially decided… but we had a great turnout (particularly for very short notice! Thanks you guys!) and quite a few speakers. There were around 24-25 hen supporters in attendance, and 2 opponents.
The (city staff) proposed ordinance was presented to the City Council. They were told to base it off the ordinances forMissoula andBozeman. For the most part it is reasonable, although there are a few things we are concerned about:
1 – An additional 4′ fence around a hen owner’s property line in addition to the enclosed coop, if the owner does not already have a perimeter fence (for a HEN? Is this required for pit bulls and/or other animals known to be aggressive?);
2 – Pre-permit inspections by Animal Control Board (they don’t have the time or budgetary resources to do this – and if the inspection is pre-chicken, what are they going to be inspecting?);
3 – A 20′ property line easement for any part of the coop or enclosure. (Bozeman requires 5′, Missoula NONE);
We recognize that this was their first draft, and compromises must be made on both sides. We’re willing to make concessions in many areas (and are doing so with other aspects of the proposed ordinance), but these we are pointing out seem a little bit much… more punitive and restrictive, designed to limit people from being able to have urban hens, than anything else.
The Council is set to vote during the Monday, 4/23/12 6:30PM meeting. Please help us keep up the discussion with Councilmembers and work this out to be a reasonable ordinance for everyone concerned!!