Crying fowl over chicken vote
On Aug. 27 the Metro Council voted against a most reasonable and restrictive proposal to allow between 2-6 chickens (depending on lot size and proximity to neighbors) in the backyards of Metro residents. This proposal would have allowed chicken owners to raise chickens in a responsible way to provide for themselves while respecting their neighbors.
This was a stunning loss as it went against the incredible support of the Planning Commission and the support that was represented by the majority of the public at the meeting.
On Tuesday, Sept. 15 the Burch bill will go before Metro Council for it¹s third reading and subsequent vote. This bill will make owning urban chickens, however responsibly, illegal in the city of Nashville (Urban Services District).
Nashville resident Tucker Rojas said in an e-mail to Kristine LaLonde (the co-sponser of the Holleman-LaLonde Bill) “I feel the tone and goals of the Burch bill are divisive and not in line with the direction the citizens of this great city wish to see Nashville evolve. I feel our goal should be a compromise bill; one that can address the concerns of all parties. Certainly a compromise is within our reach.”
This compromise CANNOT be met if the Burch bill is passed this Tuesday evening. The community dialogue would be silenced and the opportunity of participating in the nationwide urban chicken movement would be eliminated.
There are so many valid reasons to support the urban chicken movement — one that has found support from New York to Chicago; from Austin to Asheville. Chickens provide the opportunity for our increasingly obese youth to understand animal husbandry, to participate in our food source and the joy that is associated with a symbiotic relationship. They fertilize our soil and provide a natural way to reduce insects. They eat our table scraps that could easily be sent to a landfill. Most importantly, for thousands of years they have provided us with a food source.
While it is a privilege to be a chicken owner in the city of Nashville it is also becoming more and more a necessity for many homeowners. While families are losing their financial foothold raising chickens provides an inexpensive protein that can be relied upon when family incomes cannot. This is not only about chickens, it is about people who are working to create a sustainable environment in Nashville for the community AND for themselves.
The 20 Council members that voted against the backyard chicken were voting against a family’s right to provide sustenance for themselves.
The Rojas family, 37212
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