Update 5/7/11

Billings City Council and Zoning Commissions responding!

Zoning Commission Coordinator Nicole Cromwell is proving very helpful in assisting us in our efforts to update the old city ordinance against urban chickens. Thursday I received information from her indicating how to proceed with a written request for the Zoning Commission to consider a zoning ordinance amendment. She even included the amendments currently under consideration in Great Falls, MT. She adds, “If a majority of the Zoning Commission agrees to initiate the amendment then staff would begin the drafting of the code change and keep interested parties informed. I expect the process to take several months since all text amendments must be reviewed by Planning, the City Attorney and City Administration prior to hearings before the City Zoning Commission and finally the City Council. The Zoning Commission will be meeting on June 7 at 4:30 pm, in City Council Chambers (2nd Floor City Hall) to have hearings on other pending applications. If I receive a letter from you on or before next Wednesday (May 11) then I can include this item on their June 7th agenda.”

They will be receiving the letter from us!

Councilman Vince Ruegamer suggested via email that we attend a City Council meeting to discuss urban chickens in Billings, or to discuss it via the phone (which we will do as well), and Councilman Rich McFadden has noted via email that if the Zoning Commission is willing to amend the zoning issue, he will present the issue to the City Council.

So while we’re early stages as of yet, it looks like definite progress is being made. A taskforce meeting consisting of interested citizens will be scheduled to occur sometime within the next week or two. We would like to involve as many interested parties as possible, to let the city of Billings know that this is a GOOD MOVE! Sustainable agriculture in our own backyards… doesn’t get much more local, healthy, and progressive than that!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lori on May 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Im really excited about this all getting started ! Im still not sure who is heading this up ? I personally prefer the zoning laws passed in Bozeman . The law being considered is very restrictive and the city may not pass it due to it’s not having the resources to enforce and inspect for licenses. I would love to talk with whoever has prepared this proposal.

    Reply

    • Those are good points, Lori! The Zoning Commission had suggested the Great Falls ordinances currently under debate in that city; we went with those as they were very thorough and really did alot to protect the city against alot of things that could go “wrong”.

      You make a great point about the resources necessary to enforce and inspect for licenses!

      I’m sending you an email off-blog, we definitely want a consensus! ~TJ

      Reply

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