An Open Letter to the Billings Association of Realtors

April 27, 2012
 
Billings Association of Realtors:
 
As a long standing member of the Billings Association of Realtors, I 
vehemently disagree with your letter recently submitted to the Billings 
City Council urging them to ban the backyard chicken. Throughout our 
country people are seeking various ways to have live a healthier, green 
lifestyle and to be more self sufficient. The idea of the backyard 
chicken is not a radical one and is actually a widely accepted practice 
in 93 out of 100 of the largest cities in the country. 
https://billingsbackyardhens.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/percentage-of-major-us-cities-allowing-urban-hens/ 
Communities throughout Montana, including but not limited to, Missoula, 
Bozeman, Helena, Butte, Kalispell and Whitefish have also adopted this 
healthy lifestyle choice. Great Falls is currently working on getting 
an ordinance passed.
 
I have spoken several times before the city council in support of this 
issue. It brings to the forefront an important opportunity to better 
feed our families and also return an individual right to the people as 
our countries founders intended. My professional opinion regarding the 
effect that having backyard chickens would have on property values is 
that it would not have a negative impact and the chicken coop could in 
fact become a negotiating tool in a home purchase or sale. The hundreds 
of people who are in support of this issue are dedicating their time and 
energy to the success of this program. The chicken requires constant 
care and nurturing and as it is estimated that less than 2% of the 
population will even be interested in pursuing the work required to 
properly keep backyard chickens, your odor and drainage concerns become 
a non-issue. When our city is filled with backyard barking dogs, your 
concern is with a few chickens???
 
I have checked with the Magic City Hens Association here in Billings and 
learned that they have never been contacted by the Billings Association 
of Realtors. What information did the association use to arrive at 
their decision? Please set aside personal opinions and do what is best 
for our community and retract your letter of asking for the Billings 
City Council to deny our residents the freedom to become better.
 
Sincerely,
 
Bill R. Iverson
Broker/Owner
Town & Country Properties
1311 11th Street West
Billings, MT 59102
bill@twnctry.com
 
cc: Magic City Hens Association
Billings City Council
Mayor Hanel
Montana Association of Realtors
National Association of Realtors
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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Cynthia on April 28, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Nicely said, Bill!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Kristen on April 30, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    The damage and uncleanliness that dogs and cats can create IN a home, I think have a wider impact on potential home sales (and prices) than an outdoor animal that is kept clean would be.

    I spent over $2000 having wood floors refinshed after dogs lived in/damaged a house we purchased in Billings, and then another $450 dollars on having duct work cleaned out because of the MASSIVE AMOUNTS (30 gallons!) of dog hair that was pulled out of the duct work.

    Reply

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