Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Being Placed on the Back Burner

Each month I faithfully call or e-mail our council members office to find out where we are at in the process of getting the ordinance changed to allow backyard chickens. Sometimes I get a generic response and other times I get no response, and I have to follow up again. I don’t mind, it’s the nature of the beast, I know they have other more important things on their plates, however, a time frame would be nice.

When I inquire, I ask when/if there will be any community input meetings prior to the change and have continually been told that they know staff is working on it, but they do not have any information at this time to share and that they will check with staff and get back to me. Well, I’m still waiting.

With council summer break approaching very quickly I would like the following questions answered:

1. Are there going to be any community input meetings at all?

2. Is there a commission or board working on writing, reviewing or making recommendations for the new ordinance or is staff doing this?

3. If there is a commission or board working on this then what commission or board is it?

I’ve asked if there are any meetings that I can attend to gain information about this change and have not been advised of any such commissions or boards.

This may not seem important for everyone and even insignificant for most, but for those of us who wish to own chickens legally in the city of Glendale this is an important issue.

In all honesty, this cannot be the first time that a city ordinance or zoning has been changed. There are other cities in the valley that allow chickens, and have recently changed their codes to allow them. 

Staff & Council have been aware of this since June 23, 2015, it took staff over 5 months from this item being requested as an Item of Special Interest on August 4, 2015 to compile information to bring to council. The information that was provided was what any person could compile, like I did for the June 23, 2015 meeting, yet it took staff over 5 months to gather it and present. It took me less than a month to gather the information and 1 day to prepare my request for council for the June 23, 2015 council meeting.

What is the hold up?  This is an honest question and one that needs to be answered by staff to council, without any excuses.  If this was something that a staff member wanted I can guarantee that it would have been fast tracked.

Meanwhile, Grangeman is working on a new chicken hen house and run for some new girls when the time comes. There is still some work that needs to be completed like the hard wire cloth for the top, finishing the west side wall and then some cleaning up.

On a side note, have you noticed anything missing from Sahuaro Ranch Park?  Like a certain 2 legged creature?  Apparently, a citizen complained about the chickens.  The city contained them in an area and determined that it was costing them about $500 a month to maintain their food.  There were over 30 chickens (that is not a lot).  They were getting about 19 eggs daily.  Did the city maybe think that well, we can donate the eggs to a food bank, or we could SELL them at a farmers market to recoup a portion of the cost of maintaining them?  

M & S
Uptown Grange