Councilor Johnson was correct last week, no one has suggested adding chickens increases your home value, myself included. At the planning and zoning meeting I brought up the real estate markets in surrounding areas in response to suggestions that chickens lower property values. Those markets in Alamosa and Salida are higher than Monte Vista because of much more important factors – the job market, linkage to health care, schools, crime levels etc. Allowing chickens hasn’t stopped people from buying houses, because chickens aren’t an issue.
Now residents may be concerned about noise levels, the smell and chickens overrunning the town. The new chicken proposal addresses these issues. No roosters would be allowed – they make the noise and aren’t necessary for egg production. Provided their coop is cleaned regularly there is no smell. There are also suggestions for keeping the coop away from the neighbor’s property line, a maximum number of 6 hens, neighbor consent and keeping them enclosed on the property. If you are concerned about residents actually liking the idea too much - add a moratorium clause into the ordinance – a simple vote of council to stop issuing additional chicken permits. If this sounds more complicated than getting a permit for a lemonade stand, you’re right. But if it keeps the neighbors happy, I’m all for it.
Chickens can provide so many benefits: fresh eggs, a connection (outside of the grocery store) to where food comes from and the ability for kids in town to participate in 4H. Chickens won’t make someone buy a house, or force them to sell it either; there are larger problems that need to be addressed that will. But if we can’t solve this, after multiple planning and zoning meetings and public hearings at city council, how does the city plan on tackling those greater challenges and how long will it take?
After all, there is more to living in an area than the value of your property, it’s about the quality of life. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some fresh eggs for breakfast?