2014.12.17 Kurt Hahn: Back-yard chicken issue

Posted in Letters

Having some prior experience with the back yard chicken issue I thought I would just send you a letter

One year after taking a job with the City of Healdsburg, Calif., we moved from a rental in the country into a house we bought in town. With us came a pet goat and eight chickens that my mother-in-law who was living with us took a special liking to and enjoyed fetching the eggs daily. Our City Planner pointedly told me that both chickens and the goat were illegal under the City Zoning Ordinance

I pointed out to her that ordinances aside, there were over a hundred in city households who had chicken entries for the annual FFA Fair and if she wanted to cite me for a violation she should be prepared to cite the hundred or so FFA project participants at the same time. Needless to say, the planner prudently decided not to issue any citations and a year or so after that, when a variety of minor changes of the Zoning Ordinance were be processed, I noticed a change allowing back yard chickens who were pets or FFA projects.

I did move the goat back to the country after two attacks by dogs, but the chickens stayed for several years and produced organic eggs for our family and many of our neighbors.

– Kurt Hahn

Healdsburg, Calif.

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