Urban Chicks II

January 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm Leave a comment

The Town of Garner is being asked to join the real world and other Triangle municipalities in allowing live chickens within the city limits, according to a story by Sarah Nagem in the News and Observer.

Kristen Warren, founder of Friends of Hens, raises a flock legally just outside of Garner and has asked the Town Council to loosen a strict ordinance barring most in-town residents from raising poultry. Her request is apparently meeting resistance from a homeowners’ association and skepticism from some town leaders.

I guess they haven’t heard about the annual Tour d’Coop (see Urban Chicks I) in Raleigh, where its chic to raise chicks.  And maybe nobody told them that Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Apex, Knightdale and Pittsboro allow hens all over their fair towns. Chickens also roam in backyard in highly civilized Wake Forest. 

Actually chicken roosts are permissible in many big cities and small towns all across America as part of a growing trend. So far no one has gotten pecked to death or had their feathers overly ruffled (sorry).

Heck, I even saw some chickens walking down the main street in Pittsboro once when a poultry truck took the courthouse circle a little too fast, spilled a couple of crates off the back, and the ladies, well, flew the coop.

In fact, the only other major hen holdout in the Triangle is Cary, where it seems homeowners associations have almost as much power as the Duma; their suburban enclaves have banned backyard vegetable gardens, solar collectors and even clotheslines, and they’ll write you up if you don’t keep the mildew off your gutters.

Turns out a few people could raise hens now in Garner if they wished. The current ordinance prohibits chickens unless a homeowner’s lot is at least one acre. In that case, you can tend up to four birds and roosters are not allowed. But most Garner lots are less than one acre.

Garner Town Planner Brad Bass has said he will recommend adopting standards for chicken raising, which might involve permits and notification of neighbors. Sounds reasonable.

A resident of Greenbrier Estates said she would not want any new ordinance to trump her development’s covenants (heaven forfend), which apparently trump town law in such instances anyway. (Are there no “subversives” living in any of these subdivisions who want to take on these silly rules?)

Stay tuned til February or March to see if Garner goes for the chickens.

Click here to read more from the News and Observer.

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Entry filed under: Commentary, Urban Farming. Tags: .

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