Yes To Urban ChickensBy
Eggs are my favorite food. Versatile, delicious, and elegant, the humble egg is sold on store shelves for anywhere from $1.30 to $4 a dozen depending on whether you like your hens cage free and hormone free. I do. If you’ve ever tasted a farm fresh egg, you know that it’s superior to store bought. There are a lot of Asheville’s citizens who love their eggs, too, so much that they want to keep chickens in their urban yards. My own living situtation doesn’t allow for much in the way of urban agriculture, but I love being able to support those who are making it happen.
Urban agriculture saves practitioners money. Whether it’s your bountiful garden, your beehive, or your chickens – choosing to raise one’s own food is a simple, effective way to live less expensively and more sustainably. It increases a municipality’s food security, and it teaches self-reliance to neighbors.
â€œWeâ€™re advocating for responsible and informed [chicken] ownership,â€ says Cathy Williams of Asheville City Chickens.
The grass-roots group has become a social-networking phenom, with supporters flocking to its blogs, Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter sites. In the past year, Williams and other advocates have also been setting up info booths at local tailgate markets, meeting with city staff and contacting elected officials.
Their petition (which you can go here to sign) reads:
The community organization, Asheville City Chickens, is working to change the City of Asheville’s Animal Control Ordinance making it easier for people to keep backyard chickens. In addition, Asheville City Chickens teaches responsible practices for raising hens in an urban setting with an emphasis on positive neighbor and community relations.
We the undersigned ask that Asheville City Council not only support the revisions to the Animal Control Ordinance, but that City Council support Asheville City Chicken’s request that the following changes be included in the revised ordinance:
1. Distance requirements
City residents may maintain a chicken coop that is at least 25â€™ from any adjacent residence or at least 10â€™ from a coop ownerâ€™s property line.
The chickens shall be provided with a covered enclosure and must be kept in the covered enclosure or on the ownerâ€™s property at all times.
To minimize any costs associated with these ordinance changes, owners will apply in person to receive a permit for the keeping of chickens and pay a reasonable permit fee (whether one-time or annual). An on-site inspection prior to permitting is not necessary and is an unnecessary expenditure of taxpayer monies.
The City may inspect a property at any time that a reasonable suspicion of a permit violation exists.
5. Public Concerns
To address any potential concerns related to noise and odor, we recommend that roosters be prohibited, flocks be kept small relative to property size, and that coops be maintained in a sanitary manner consistent with existing city ordinances.
Yes to Asheville City Chickens.