Thursday, June 24, 2010

Action Alert: Please send an email!

After years of work, Denver's City Council recently passed an overhaul to the city's 54-year-old zoning code. It was a huge undertaking, and we thank them for their work.

For the last several months the Council has been delaying any discussion of a new Food-Producing Animals ordinance until the zoning code passed. Now, the time has come! Sustainable Food Denver will begin working with someone at zoning in July to draft a new FPA ordinance, and eventually City Council will vote on it.

Now is a good time to check in with your councilperson and let them know that you are interested in seeing this issue move forward. Please take a moment to send an email to your councilperson (email addresses are below).

Please put something about supporting chickens & dwarf goats, sustainable food, or Food-Producing Animals in the subject line.

In the body of the email, please be sure to thank your councilperson for passing the new zoning code, then talk about why you would like to see them support a new ordinance making it easier to own chickens & dwarf goats. Feel free to share all of your own ideas, but here are some talking points if you need them:
  • Chickens and dwarf goats allow families to have access to affordable, healthy food
  • The animals raised in factory farms are treated terribly, are fed antibiotics, and sometimes produce contaminated eggs and milk. Backyard FPAs give families a way to opt out of that system.
  • Hen chickens (no roosters) and dwarf goats are not smelly or noisy if cared for properly. If there is a problem with improperly cared-for animals, we can apply our existing animal laws to address the situation.
  • Most of the food we consume in this country travels an average of 1,500 miles to reach us. That system is unsustainable and very costly to the environment, and we need to develop local food systems to produce more of our food in urban areas.
  • Many cities (like Portland, Seattle, Sante Fe) allow chickens & goats as a use-by-right (meaning you can own them without a permit).
  • Our current permitting system is needlessly expensive and time consuming. It penalizes people who wish to produce healthy food for their families.
  • Our current permitting system is not respectful of individual property rights. It is currently allowed for a Denver resident to get three dogs (even 150 pound dogs) with no permit and no input from the neighbors. Food-Producing Animals are much smaller, quieter, and have less of an impact on the neighborhood environment.

Be sure to include your address below your name when you sign the email -- it's important that your councilperson knows that you live in their district.

If you don't know your council district, you can click here to enter your address and find out. Here are the email addresses for each councilperson:

District 1: Councilwoman Sandoval -
District 2: Councilwoman Faatz -
District 3: Councilman Lopez -
District 4: Councilwoman Lehmann -
District 5: Councilwoman Johnson -
District 6: Councilman Brown -
District 7: Councilman Nevitt -
District 8: Councimwoman Madison -
District 9: Councilwoman Montero -
District 10: Councilwoman Robb -
District 11: Councilman Hancock -
At-Large*: Councilman Linkhart -
At-Large*: Councilwoman Boigon -

*Everyone can write the At-Large councilpersons!

Please contact me at sustainablefooddenver[at] if you have any questions. Thank you for your support of Food-Producing Animals in the city!

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