Different view on chicken discussion


Dear Editor,
I was present at the recent planning & zoning commission meeting during the discussion of chickens in town. And while I respect all the proponents and their views, the report of the meeting sounded much like there was little or no opposition to the proposal.
Apparently some larger towns do allow a restricted number of chickens in residential zoning—even condos, town homes and apartments. My first impression is that the number of residents participating compared to the total population is relatively small. No one notices 50 residential lots with the maximum allowed chicken population in Denver.
But the proponents are proud of the fact that this is a rapidly growing “hobby” or “pastime.” So two concerns arise: first, 50 residential lots with the maximum allowable chicken population in Monte Vista (less than one percent of Denver’s population) would certainly be noticeable; and second, if this is a growing and popular pastime then what would preclude 50 percent or more of the residents in our town from raising chickens? How many code enforcement staff would that take to maintain oversight?
It was also brought out (twice) that chickens in town would likely draw more folks to move here. I am definitely interested in that, but in all my years in real estate I never had anyone ask, “Can we raise chickens in the back yard of our town home here?” And no one has ever suggested adding poultry to increase their home’s salability or property value.
I have other concerns but this is not up to me (to the relief of some). There likely will be public hearings with both planning & zoning as well as city council. So I look forward to seeing you there when those discussions are scheduled.
Gary Johnson, Monte Vista

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