I got a call yesterday from the University of Iowa and spoke to a reporter who documented the Iowa City chicken-keeping efforts in this article, published online today (4/17/2012).
This movement was seeded by a former chicken keeper from Albuquerque who wanted backyard hens at her new home.
“Everyone comes to the table with different reasons [for urban chicken keeping],” said LaBadie, who organized several chicken-keeping groups in Albuquerque. “… But it’s not like it’s a brand-new thing. They’re allowed in New York City, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, and larger urban areas. I feel like they could work in Iowa City.”
In a disappointing 5-2 vote last night, the Village of Northbrook, IL, razed hopes for backyard chicken keepers. Attendees felt the trustees had made their decisions prior to the meeting, rather than entertaining the evidence presented.
This, of course, overshadows the Cubs 7-4 loss over the Brewers.
I assisted would-be chicken owner Matt Scallon in an unsuccessful petition of the Arlington Heights Village Trustees for a variance to allow him to own chickens. A Trib Local reporter covered the story here. The Tribune’s story is here.
The city of Elgin, IL, just approved chickens!
Todd Martin made the proposal, and here is his report:
“At tonight’s City of Elgin’s Sustainability Commission meeting, my proposal to allow backyard chickens has been approved. The next step is to meet with Elgin’s planning department for crafting the ordinance, then the Planning Commission, then the City Council. Lots of steps and community involvement along the way. If you have any questions, look at West Dundee’s licensing program; we will be modeling ours on theirs.”
Piggybacking on my 1/26/2012 post, there is a legal argument over the right to local food in Calgary, which was sparked by backyard hens. Chickens are no longer a pivot point in the argument; it has now encompassed larger issues that involve municipalities determining what their residents consume. Read more here.
A sign of the times! San Diego City Council voted on Jan. 31, 2012, to allow residents to keep chickens, goats, and bees, citing the importance of accessing local food. Read more here.
Well, here is another instance of non-chicken-loving sentiments: http://www.wbez.org/story/owning-chickens-scratches-controversy-95624
A quote in the article compares chicken coops to dumpsters and complains of odors – these are comments that suggest that a visit to some chicken coops is in order. Most coops are well kept and do not smell.
All the more reason for chicken owners to practice good animal husbandry and for people who are not chicken friendly to visit a few coops.