Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Please Take the Chicken Survey!

Denver City Councilwoman Jeanne Robb (District 10) has put a survey up on her website to collect feedback about urban chickens. The current permitting process for food-producing animals (chickens, goats, etc) is extremely expensive and time consuming. An additional problem with the current system is that it allows one neighbor to highjack the process if someone on their block is trying to get chickens. This neighbor may not know anything about chickens and how they're kept, and they may not even be adjacent to the property in question - but they can prohibit a homeowner from receiving a permit.

I've included a link to Councilwoman Robb's survey below. First, a couple of additional thoughts:

- I think the way the first question is set up is a bit counterintuitive. A "yes" answer to the first question indicates you want to leave the process the way it is (expensive fees and all), and a "no" answer means you want the policy to change.

- Note the language the Councilwoman uses in the survey. "Would you object to your next door neighbor having chickens without your ability to share your opinion through the Zoning Administrative Review process?" I haven't yet met Councilwoman Robb, but the way she's phrasing the question seems to reveal a bias toward the neighbor's "right" to influence whether or not there are chickens next door. If you disagree with this notion, be sure to say so in the comments section!

- Use the comments section! Remember that the city of Denver already has policies in place to deal with odor and noise issues. Why can't we just apply the same complaint and correction procedures to chickens and goats? (Animal Control has already said they'd be happy to do this.) The city allows residents to have cats and dogs - even 150 pound dogs - with minimum licensing requirements and fees. Again, why can't we just follow the same guidelines for food-producing animals?

Thank you so much for lending your voice to this discussion!!

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