Dr. Mikki Hand attended the city council open forum last night, representing the Longmont Urban Hen Coalition. Dr. Hand presented her case and asked city council to vote in favor of the ordinance to allow backyard hens in Longmont.
Her comments were well-received by the city council.
Brian Hansen said, "I want to thank you very much for all of your input on this matter. I think there's been a lot of fear of the backyard hens and I think as much information as we can get out there as we can is very helpful. And so I really do appreciate how much you've come forward and told us a lot of the details people haven't thought about."
Gabe Santos brought up the idea of having a community chicken coop at Sandstone Ranch, etc. He also pointed out that this ordinance is not a "slam dunk" and that this will take time to please people on both sides of the issue.
Sarah Levison asked for the copy of the USA Today article (where Longmont is mentioned) and for a copy of The Natural History of the Chicken that was on PBS the other night (it can be viewed on YouTube in six parts). She also said, "One of the things that's really surprised most of us is primarily the issue seems to be highlighting the fact that we are woefully inefficient and insufficient in our code enforcement issues totally in this city. ... It's pretty much common knowledge we don't have enough code enforcement officers in the city. To me that's one of the fundamental issues that's been brought up because of the backyard hen issue so i think that's a discussion of priorties in the community that we need to have as part of this ordinance as well."
Mary Blue, the only council member who attended our Eggs on the Table meeting a few weeks ago, and had been on the fence or even opposed to the ordinance, said about the meeting, "It was a very interesting program. ... I'm glad I went. I went to learn. I thought the presentations were very thoughtful. They were high quality, intellectual comments. Particularly the child from Lyons that could name all of these chickens by name that their family owns. It was most interesting." She also added, "I'm slowly being swayed."
The proposed backyard hen ordinance will be discussed in more detail at the city council study session at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, in the City Council Chambers, located in the Civic Center at 350 Kimbark St., Longmont. Ben Ortiz, the city planner who has been in charge of all of the research regarding the proposed ordinance, will be in attendance. All chicken supporters are very much encouraged to attend this meeting.