Tuesday, September 7, 2010

City may revisit the backyard chicken ordinance

Redmond resident, Ms. Dennis, asked the city last night to take a second look at our "backyard animal ordinance".   She spoke during the public comment period to City Council, specifically about the value of backyard hens to sustainability and health. 
Ms. Dennis reminded Council of the widespread salmonella contamination to chicken eggs nationwide this year.  According to a New York Times article of 8/27/2010 more than 1500 infections have been tied to bad eggs since May - the highest incidence since FDA studies began in 1973. 

Ms. Dennis trumped many of the common objections to backyard chickens.  Salmonella contamination is uncommon with organic eggs.  Referring to neighboring city ordinances, she proposed council approve up to three backyard hens, no roosters; saying noise is limited in the absence of roosters.  She said rats and insects follow people.  People will dogs and cats must clean up; just as one does for hens.  
Councilwoman Allen  agreed completely with Ms. Dennis saying she is aware of the widespread outbreak of salmonella in eggs and has always endorsed the sustainability concept.  Ms. Allen was Chair of the Safety Council Committee.  Council Finance Chair, Hank Margeson agreed wholeheartedly with Ms. Allen and Ms. Dennis.  Council Safety Chair Meyers was positive, as well.

The Council needs four votes to proceed with an ordinance change and they've got three now.   Who do you think is a 4th aye?   Senior Councilman Richard Cole used to have backyard horses.  Councilman Carson said his wife would vote for the hens, but that he still needed to think on it.  You can lobby council.  Email: council@redmond.gov.

Reported By Bob Yoder
Photo from Google images

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