Backyard Hens in Suffolk VA

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by bluedogbraun, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. bluedogbraun

    bluedogbraun New Egg

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    Aug 8, 2013
    Suffolk, VA
    5 Weeks ago City Councilman Johnson requested a staff report be brought back to council following his being told about some of the people in his borough having backyard hens and being "caught" by zoning. The week that followed was when I started working social media trying to get a group together to support backyard hens in our city. Previously the staff report has come back stating that by right over 70% of our city is able to have chickens due to the zoning in that area. A small group of us met, 4 of us, to come up with a plan, the plan was educate, educate, and more educating. I created a sister group to the facebook Suffolk Hen Keepers group called Suffolk Backyard Hens, which is solely dedicated to getting an ordinance passed, I reached out to others from the surrounding cities to find out what they did to get the ordinance passed in their city and I went to work. Using a template and a lot of information from Chesapeake I created a 10 page document to go along with my 5 minutes of speaking that I was allotted in front of council. I posted in multiple groups about the meeting and asked for people to come to support us, not to talk, just to be present. I also lucked out and was contacted by a local newspaper reporter for a story. The following Wednesday (6/1/16) was the council meeting, our story ran in the paper that same day. The story was great, so was the turnout at the meeting, we had 15 people come in support of our cause and two different papers there to cover the story as well. I spoke and provided my info packet, next my 8 year old daughter spoke, and lastly another member of our group spoke. We did have someone get up in opposition, but I'm honestly not too concerned with what he had to say. The interesting part so far is that the staff report has not come back, usually it is a two week turn around, at this point we think it will be at the next council meeting on 6/15/16. Again, a group of us will be there, this time we have two other members that will be speaking, but this time, we should have closer to 30 people there in support. Council has a few options for the next step after the staff report, I just hope the report is favorable this time. After the meeting myself, my daughter, and the rest of our group was approached by 5 council members and the mayor, all with positive things to say, many of them commented on the information that was provided in the packets. I really do feel like we did what we came to do, provide education, I can honestly say we came with a good strategy and backed it up with a hardcopy, I will also say that my daughter pleading to get her chickens back (we previously lived where we could have them) didn't hurt either.

    I will continue to post after each meeting.

    If you live in or around Suffolk, whether you can currently have chickens or are just interested I would invite you to join our group on Facebook, Suffolk Backyard Hens, or message me here for City Council meeting information, we need your support, which is as simple as coming out a few Wednesday nights.
     
  2. bluedogbraun

    bluedogbraun New Egg

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    Aug 8, 2013
    Suffolk, VA
    Here is a link to the article that was in the paper the day of the meeting

    http://pilotonline.com/news/governm...cle_761a8f30-041f-5097-8006-f8c6d2b58085.html

    Here is the article after the meeting (my kid is so cute)

    http://pilotonline.com/news/governm...cle_25d3f173-fbb4-5f15-9856-4f7b63e709bc.html

    Here is a link to the article in our City paper (The Suffolk News Herald)

    http://www.suffolknewsherald.com/2016/06/02/backyard-fowl-topic-of-meeting/


    And here is a link to the opinion piece the Suffolk News Herald ran

    http://www.suffolknewsherald.com/2016/06/04/no-chickens-next-door/
     
  3. bluedogbraun

    bluedogbraun New Egg

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    Aug 8, 2013
    Suffolk, VA
    Backyard chickens are officially on the city council agenda under staff reports in the work session for the council meeting on 6/15. I'll keep updating once that occurs, I've heard whisperings of good things.
     

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