The city council zoning commission meeting tonight was a great success. Over and over again I'm impressed with how open to creating fair legislation our City Council has been. The process has, thus far, been shockingly amicable. For 45 minutes council heard from citizens who came to show their support (no one spoke against allowing chickens). I bet there were over 50 people there. Not everyone got to speak, but everyone listened respectfully.
(First blog contest: A special gift of eggs--once we have them--to the person who can correctly guess what tune this music box plays. Place your entries in the comments section.)
I am not exaggerating when I say this Chicken Issue has made me feel, for the first time, like a real, grown up member of this community.
- Sex of the chickens (Hens only, everyone agrees)
- Number of chickens (Council seems to be leaning toward limiting the number of hens to somewhere between 3-5 per family to stay in accordance with rules for dogs/cats)
- Coop (Getting a permit will probably require having a coop -- otherwise the chickens can get out and would probably get eaten by predators, anyway)
- Setback from the property line (This, to my mind, is the only tricky issue. A resident can have a dog anywhere on their property, of course, and cats can roam. But in Columbus and many other chicken-allowing places there are strict rules about how far from the property line the chickens must be housed. If we have even modest property-line setbacks in the new Bexley ordinance that will probably mean that Andrew & I can't keep the chickens. We've picked the most secure spot on our property which happens to be the dog run directly abutting the property line on the side. City Council seemed inclined to search for a reasonable compromise on this issue -- possibly required setbacks from the front of the property, effectively disallowing coops in front yards.