NiftyChicken, I'm thinking maybe a sticky that won't accept comments. People could submit such documents, and admins could put them into the sticky? Maybe several stickies -- one for 'steps in the process,' one each for any step that is particularly complex.
For your #1, links to amlegal.com, findlaw.com, municode.com, bpcnet.com/codes.htm, and other online code document storage -- a lot of communities do have their codes online. For those who don't, simple instructions on how to get them without 'outing' yourself (for instance, go to your city hall and ask to see a copy of the code of ordinances and zoning/usage codes, politely but without detailing why, and then see if they'll let you make copies of the pertinent pages.) Give instructions on how to search to make sure you don't miss something -- search on animals, poultry, chickens, livestock, fowl, structures, enclosures, and accessory usage.
For #2, a. call the police ON THEIR NON-EMERGENCY LINE and ask about the history of chicken complaints
b. find out when your city outlawed chickens, and what the area was like back then. (for instance, if it was during the 50s/60s and your area was becoming a suburb, it was probably during the period when suburbs were trying to distinguish themselves from rural areas. If it was earlier and your area was a city already, it was probably due to concerns about disease from inside-the-city newly-large chicken farms. If it was in 1988, maybe there were one or more citizens raising chickens irresponsibly. Or maybe -- like my suburb, which recently tried to outlaw chickens -- it was because someone asked if they could raise chickens and the city discovered NO farm animals had ever been outlawed.)
For #3, http://www.scribd.com/doc/16509728/Changing-Your-Citys-Chicken-Laws
Other things to include:
General attitude for the process/Gaining support without creating opposition
Sample 'best case scenario' chicken ordinances to ask for. Sample 'reasonable' chicken ordinances to go for.
How not to annoy your neighbors so they won't turn you in/try to get laws changed to disallow chickens
Originally Posted by Nifty-Chicken
BigPeep, thanks so much for your reply and offer to help.
For you (and anybody/everybody else with experience) what we really need is an organized document or article on how to work with the city to get the ordinances changed.
We often get questions from people who don't have a clue on where to start, who to talk to, or what to say. If the community of experts could work together to create a "How To" page that included vital information and suggestions, we'd be able to point people to it.
Without experience, I would guess it could include things like:
1) How to lookup / find local officials
2) Determining why chickens aren't allowed
3) Preparing arguments for why chickens should be allowed
4) Talking points on raising chickens
5) etc. etc. etc.
I don't know the best way to organize this. Maybe a few BYC Page created by members or a forum thread? All I know is that this information would be wonderful to have collected and organized by people with experience.