Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More chicken permits soon to be available

Last night the Longmont City Council approved the amendment to the backyard chicken ordinance. According to the amendment permits will soon be available for residents who requested to be on the waiting list between the dates of March 24 and May 5. There are 22 of them.

There are an additional eight people who've called asking to be added to the waiting list since May 5, but they aren't eligible to get a permit. The eight individuals on the new waiting list will have to wait until a permit is surrendered or revoked before they will be eligible for one.

In addition, anyone who had chickens prior to Feb. 1, 2009, and can prove it will be eligible to
get a permit. They will be required to provide a written letter from a next door neighbor attesting to their chicken keeping and pictures of their coop and chickens. This group would be required to bring their chicken keeping operation up to the existing code requirements just like everyone else.

The amended ordinance will go to publishing on Friday, and the new permits should be available for purchase 10 days after that which should be June 22.

Council members voting in favor of the amendment were Karen Benker, Brian Hansen, Sean McCoy and Sarah Levison. Voting against it were Mayor Lange, Gabe Santos, and Mary Blue.

For information on obtaining a permit (what to bring and where to go), please see this post.

Monday, June 8, 2009

City Council to vote on amending chicken ordinance June 9

The Longmont City Council will vote on amending the backyard chicken ordinance at the meeting on Tuesday, June 9. The vote could increase the number of permits allowed in the city (currently only 50) and allow residents who own backyard chickens but don’t have the required permit to keep their hens, as well as allow residents who are on the permit waiting list to apply for a permit.

On May 26, council voted 5-2 in favor of amending the ordinance to allow more permits. The second reading and vote are scheduled for tonight. For more information about the last city council meeting and vote re: the chickens, please read the Times-Call article Longmont chicken owners without permits have time to comply.

If you are in favor of backyard hens, please attend tomorrow night's city council meeting and sign up to speak during the Public Invited to be Heard section (at the very beginning). Thank you for your continued support.

Location of Meeting:

June 9, 2009 - 7 p.m.
Civic Center
350 Kimbark St.
Longmont, CO

Friday, May 15, 2009

Longmont may allow existing chickens to be grandfathered in

The results of Tuesday's city council meeting were covered in the Times-Call article Chicken Amnesty.
City officials might give sanctuary to illegal chickens.

Councilwoman Karen Benker suggested at the end of the Longmont City Council meeting Tuesday night that the city change its new chicken ordinance to allow residents who have been keeping hens illegally — but who could not get their hands on one of the 50 chicken permits the city issued — to keep those hens legally if residents can prove they’ve had them for a while.

Read the complete article here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Back to the Council Urban Hens!

Tonight the City Council may be discussing the approval of additional permits for the Backyard Chicken Ordinance. If you are on the Wait List, received a permit, already have chickens, live next to chickens, etc. please come speak and support the approval of additional permits!

The 50 permits approved in March sold out fast and several folks that were instrumental in getting the ordinance passed DID NOT get permits due a variety of reasons, including having to to go out of town for a family emergency.

Please arrive BEFORE 7pm to sign up to speak. Plan to be brief, but positive. Here is a link to the current agenda (they will likely not vote on additional permits tonight, the City Manager will simply raise the issue).

May 12, 2009 Agenda

Location of Meeting:

May 12, 2009 - 7:00 p.m.
Civic Center
350 Kimbark Street
Longmont, CO

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Longmont chickens on NBC Nightly News

May 4, 2009: More suburbanites across the country are raising chickens. It goes beyond a passion for poultry, some are motivated by the taste of farm fresh eggs, others by a desire to try something new. NBC's Jack Chesnutt reports.

Chickens roost in backyards

Friday, March 27, 2009

Longmont chicken permits sold out - waiting list started

On Monday, March 23, the city of Longmont issued the last of the 50 permits that allow residents to keep up to four backyard hens. At this time, no more permits are available.

They have, however, started a waiting list of sorts. If anyone who received a permits decides they'd rather not get chickens after all (or if they get them and then decide to get rid of them), they can turn their permit back into the city and the city can reissue it to a person on the waiting list. As of today, March 27, there are four people on the waiting list. So if you do find yourself with a permit and no desire to get or keep chickens after all, please turn your permit back in so that a resident who really wants them can obtain them legally. To be put on the wait list for a chicken permit, please contact Ben Ortiz at the Planning and Development Services Division, 385 Kimbark St. The phone number is 303-774-4725.

Thank you. :)

In the news again:
Longmont's chickens were in the Denver Post last week: More cities welcome chickens

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chickens in the local paper

There's a nice article about Longmont hens in today's TimesCall titled Coming home to roost - Chicken supporters say newly legal birds worth the cost, effort.

Also, as of Friday morning, Ben Ortiz reported to me there were about 10 chicken permits remaining. Details on obtaining a permit can be found here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Chicken permits selling out fast

Chicken permits in Longmont went on sale this morning and as the doors of the Development Services Center opened at 8 a.m., there were about a dozen people waiting in line to get their hands on one.

According to the TimesCall, by 11 a.m. only half of the 50 permits approved by city council remained available for purchase.

City planner Ben Ortiz said, "We've issued 28 of the 50 available permits as of 4:30 this evening. I suspect the remainder will go by the end of the week."

The new ordinance that allows up to 4 hens in residential backyards is a trial run that will expire at the end of 2010, at which time the city council will determine whether or not to allow all Longmont residents the opportunity to own hens.

For more information on how to buy one of the 22 remaining permits, click over to this post with details on where to go and what to bring.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The new Longmont backyard hen ordinance and getting a permit

As of Feb. 24, the City of Longmont has passed an ordinance (read details of the ordinance here) that allows a small number of city residents to keep up to 4 hens (no roosters) in a backyard chicken coop provided that the coop/yard meets certain requirements. There will be 50 permits available for issue for a cost of $30. Residents must fill out a simple form and supply some information when applying for their permit.

Obtaining a permit:
Permits will be available to the Longmont community beginning Monday, March 9, 2009, and every work day thereafter until the permits run out. Individuals that want a permit must come to the Development Services Center located at 385 Kimbark St., which is located across the street from the library. The doors to the offices front onto Kimbark and are open at 8 a.m.

Prospective chicken owners will need to fill out a simple form which includes the requirements within the ordinance. The permits are $30 (cash or check made payable to the City of Longmont). They don't accept credit cards, so please be sure to have your cash/checks in hand when you come in. The form will ask if you are using a coop that was in existence prior to February 1, 2009 and whether said coop is closer than six feet to any side or rear property line. If it is closer than six feet, the coop owner will need to get written permission from the adjacent property owner. If you fit that description, please make sure you have their letters in hand too. If the pre-existing coop is not closer than six feet, then you won't need a letter. If a pre-existing coop is closer than six feet and there is no adjacent property owner, then you don't need written permission.

For any and all coops (whether they're pre-existing or not), please provide a plot plan, sketch plan, aerial photo, e.g. Google map of the property showing dimension lines from the side/rear property lines and any structure as well as the placement of the coop. If you are going to be using a tractor, just show the larger area where the tractor will be contained in. The sketch plans/Google map don't have to be too fancy. They just want a general idea as to where you're planning on putting the coop and the coop's size.

Additional information:
While the following recommendation isn't included in the ordinance, it has been suggested (by city staff) that we work within our group to self-police as much as possible to avoid raising any red flags during the trial period.

According to city staff, Murdoch's sells sexed chicks, so please take advantage of this or other distributors that sell sexed chicks and do your best to avoid roosters as much as possible.

Also, if anyone in our group has buyer's remorse afterward or accidentally gets a rooster, we've been encouraged to work amongst ourselves to adopt out the birds or, in the worst case scenario, take them to one of the two raptor rehabilitation centers in the area (Fort Collins & Broomfield). It is important to get rid of roosters immediately once they start crowing if it turns out you get one accidentally.

Thank you for your support and congratulations to all. Keep on clucking. :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Longmont backyard hen ordinance passed

The ordinance passed tonight! 50 permits will be available for purchase for $30 starting some time in March. More details soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Show your support February 24th at 7 PM!!!

Hello Chicken Lovers! The Backyard Chicken Ordinance is up for its final "yay" or "nay" vote next Tuesday, February 24th at 7 PM. Please come to the meeting, sign up to speak briefly and tell the council that you wholeheartedly support backyard chickens.

With amendments, the proposed ordinance would now allow:
  • Up to 4 backyard chicken hens (no roosters).
  • No other fowl are allowed - so, no turkeys, quail, ducks, geese, guinea fowl or pigeons.
  • The coop and run can be up to 7 feet high. It has to be predator proof, with a solid top.
  • The coop and run must be 6 feet away from any other structure, and from side and rear property lines. The coop and run must be in the rear of the property.
  • The coop and run must allow at least 4 sq ft per chicken, and can be a maximum of 120 sq ft total.
  • Water must be available to the chickens at all times, and feed must be kept in a vermin-proof container.
  • The coop and run must be cleaned and maintained regularly, and not constitute a nuisance, safety hazard, or health problem to surrounding properties.
  • No slaughtering allowed.
  • Hen keepers must have a permit - currently, 50 permits will be allowed, at a permitting price of $30 each.
  • A permit may be revoked with violation of any part of the ordinance.
  • The trial period ends in December of 2010 (the ordinance "sunsets") if it has not been renewed prior to that time.
If anything has been left out please be sure to add it in the below comments. We hope to see you Tuesday!

Monday, February 9, 2009

First reading of the ordinance - Feb. 10

The first reading of the proposed backyard hen ordinance will take place at the City Council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, in the City Council Chambers, located in the Civic Center at 350 Kimbark St. At this meeting the council will vote to go forward with the ordinance (which would lead to the second reading and vote on Feb. 24) or to kill the ordinance.

All chicken supporters are encouraged to attend this meeting and sign up during the public invited to be heard segment to say "I support the backyard hen ordinance." Thank you for your support!

Also, Longmont and chickens are in the news again. On KUNC today was Longmont considers urban hen ordinance. Take a listen.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Upcoming backyard chicken workshops in Ft. Collins

I received this information from a few chicken folks up in Fort Collins and wanted to pass it along here in case anyone in Longmont (or elsewhere in Colorado) is interested.

The Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association is holding Backyard Chicken workshops scheduled throughout the year.

See their website for details:

Here is the workshop schedule:
- Intro to Poultry - Sun. Feb 22, 12 pm to 4 pm
- Poultry Facilities - Sun. March 15, 9 am to 5 pm
- Intro to Poultry - Sat. April 11, 9 am to 1 pm
- Poultry Facilities - Sun. May 10, 9 am to 5 pm
- Advanced Poultry - Thurs. June 11, 6 pm to 9 pm

In addition, Northern Colorado Feeders' Supply will be holding a COW (Chicken Owners' Workshop) on Friday, March 20th. Details will be posted on the Fort Collins chicken blog when they become available (

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Vote YES for backyard chickens

There's currently a poll (about whether or not the city council should allow backyard chickens) on the left-hand side of the Times-Call site, but you have to scroll down quite a bit to see it.

The question is:
Should the Longmont City Council allow residents to apply and pay for
a limited number of backyard-chicken permits?

Please vote YES!

Thanks for voting. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quick update on City Council meeting

Just a quick update for now. Overall, last night's study session went well. The City Council will likely vote on the backyard hen ordinance in February. You can read about the meeting in today's TimesCall article - Backyard chickens likely to involve cost.

More about the Jan. 20th City Council Study Session later.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mark your calendar for Jan. 20

The proposed backyard hen ordinance will be discussed in detail at the city council study session at 7 p.m. this 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, as well as sign up to speak in support of the ordinance. Your statement when you speak can be as short and sweet as, "I support the ordinance," or, directed to the city council, "Please support this ordinance."

Thank you all for your continued support! Hope to see you at the study session. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Longmont's lack of chickens on NPR

Longmont made national news again, this time on National Public Radio's (NPR's) All Things Considered this weekend in City Folk Flock to Raise Small Livestock at Home by Megan Verlee. Verlee discusses the urban hen trend in Denver and across the country.

This was Longmont's mention:
Some municipalities have bucked the agrarian trend. Just north of Denver, the planning board for the city of Longmont, Colo., recently gave the thumbs-down to a chicken ordinance. According to Jon Van Bentham, the board chairman, concerns ranged from unsightly chicken-coop construction to noise and smell, to slightly more dire topics.

"Avian flu came up," Van Bentham says. "Again, that's maybe kind of a nightmare scenario, but that's one of the places where folks are concerned that it comes from."
You can listen to the 4 1/2 minute broadcast or read the entire article here - City Folk Flock to Raise Small Livestock at Home.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sign the chicken petition outside of Vitamin Cottage Jan. 10 & 11

Longmont Urban Hen Coalition members will be standing in front of Vitamin Cottage (1739 Main St., Longmont) collecting signatures on the backyard hen petition this Saturday, Jan. 10 (from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday, Jan. 11 (from 3 to 5 p.m.).

The petition will be presented to City Council at the Jan. 20th study session.

Please stop by, sign the petition and show your support for urban chickens. :)

If you can't sign the petition in person, there is an online version of the petition available as well. Please sign only if you are a resident of Longmont and have not signed the paper petition, and include your street address in the comments.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Update on Jan. 6 City Council Open Forum

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."

What's next?
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.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Longmont is in the news again - this time USA Today

From the USA Today article:
Longmont, Colo., city planner Ben Ortiz says elected officials in his city of about 85,000 near Fort Collins are considering whether to let residents raise chickens. Ortiz says many residents have cited financial sustainability as a major reason. "There may be some pent-up demand for this kind of thing," he says.
Read the rest here: Chickens given roosts in urban backyards