Looks like the Billings Zoning Commission volunteers are deciding to pick a fight. Recently posted on the city website:
The Zoning Commission of the City of Billings, Montana will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 2nd Floor City Hall, 210 N 27th Street for the purpose of reviewing the following items:
(some others, then:)
Zone Change #885 – Text Amendment – Livestock and Fowl Section 27-607 – A zone change to the Unified Zoning Regulations to clarify that fowl (poultry) as defined by Section 27-201 is not an allowed use within the City of Billings. The City Zoning Commission initiated this amendment on February 7, 2012.
City personnel had acknowledged last year that “there is a problem with current city code” in the lack of verbage specifying “fowl/poultry” as specifically noted as not an allowed use within city limits. Unlike Ragu, it was NOT in there. Thus the viewpoint of Billings Backyard Hen Initiative that it is then, in fact, not against city code to have urban poultry.
All the “i-dotting and t-crossing” aside, the Zoning Commission is quietly trying to go about recommending that the City Council close this “loophole” and turn Billings hen owners into law-breakers… you know the old saying, “If chickens are outlawed, only outlaws will have chickens.” Doesn’t exactly sound like the collapse of western civilization to me, but then again I’m not on the Zoning Commission.
The Planning Department has posted:
The Zoning Commission and City Council will hear all persons wishing to speak relative to the proposed special review and zone changes. Testimony regarding the above mentioned items may also be submitted in writing to the Planning Division, 510 North Broadway, Parmly Library 4th Floor,Billings,MT59101 or to the Mayor and City Council,P.O. Box 1178,Billings, MT 59103. Presumably, they are also taking email to the entire city council at: email@example.com and the mayor at HanelT@ci.billings.mt.us. More detailed information on specific council members/the mayor’s email and telephone numbers can be found at http://ci.billings.mt.us/index.aspx?nid=159.
If you are interested in joining Billings Backyard Hen Initiative, please email HensInTheBackyard@hotmail.com. I’m sure the Zoning Commission intended for this to be a civil discussion between the pro-hen and the hen-hating factions, and did not intend to actually just sneak this one in under the radar. Despite appearances. So now is the time for all good citizens to come to the aid of sustainable, green-living, organic and best-practices right to use our own backyards as responsible and considerate hen owners. WE NEED YOU!!!!!!!!!! (“>