Calling NORFOLK, VA Residents (May 10!!)

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Mamma_Duck04, May 8, 2011.

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  1. Mamma_Duck04

    Mamma_Duck04 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Crazyville, VA
    After much inspiration from others here, and others here in my locale, I'm calling for support in Norfolk, VA!

    The City Council is due to have their May meeting on Tuesday, May 10 (on their website it looks like it's starting at 7pm, but I will be calling to verify this tmrw & will update). After speaking with Five Points Community Farmers Market this morning, the lady informed me the topic of 'chickens' will be brought up at this meeting.

    I'm encouraging you to show your support & would love to see a great turnout. There seems (from what I can tell) a patched-together group that wants to 'do something' but nothing formal- I'm willing to do what I can to try to organize this!! But I've never done anything like this and would really appreciate any help [​IMG]

    This lady also informed me that the following Council members are 'pretty supportive' of the efforts to allow chickens:
    - Dr. Theresa Whibley
    - Thomas Smigiel
    - Andy Protogyrou

    but... - Barclay Winn seems to be heavily on the fence.

    In order for any approval, we need 5 of the 8 votes "in favor of backyard chickens".

    The remaining Council Members need some RESPECTFUL persuasion to convince them that allowing backyard chickens won't be the end of the world (word has it, the prevailing attitude is "this is how it's always been, we don't need to change it"). And the Council Members I listed above need some thanks and respectful encouragement to keep supporting this effort.

    So please, if you can attend the meeting, COME!! Whether you can or not, PLEASE send *respectful* emails to all City Council members, explaining why they should allow chickens in residential areas and how/why this is beneficial to the residents of Norfolk!!

    You can find all their email addresses at http://www.norfolk.gov/City_Hall/ on the left side under "City Council Members". Feel free to call them also!!

    ******************************************************************************
    For those of you unaware of how things currently stand:

    Norfolk City Ordinance states that poultry and other livestock and bees are not allowed on residential properties. But do allow for a 'house-pig' of 100# or less, fully vaccinated, etc. that is kept indoors overnight & no shelters are set up on the property to house the pig overnight. (these were last updated in 1992)

    In 1999, the Health Department changed their regulations stating chickens were allowed if you attain a permit. But failed to explain anything further and calls for more information meet hostility to say the least! It looks, after making more calls, the only permits given are for sentinel chickens used by the city to monitor mosquito control/disease/etc. (they test the chickens who are set up in specific locations for this reason), so getting a permit from the Health Department is IMPOSSIBLE for HOME-USE.

    I also want to inject here, that I was given information that Dr. Demetria Lindsay, the head of Norfolk's Health Department, is "strongly in favor of allowing backyard chickens".

    From what I've already been told by the City's Planning Committee the 'plan' is to update the City Ordinance, to be in line with that of the Health Department's regulations, which isn't good enough!! The fact this is still "in work" means we need to band together and respectfully let our voices be heard and our faces be seen!!

    Edited to correct Council Meeting time.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2011
  2. Mamma_Duck04

    Mamma_Duck04 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Crazyville, VA
    Update:

    The May 10th City Council Agenda is up and doesn't mention anything about chickens... But please note the meeting starts at ** 7 PM ** not 5pm as I previously thought.
    But I've got a call in to the Director of the Health Department personally, to discuss the permitting issues.

    A few interesting tidbits I have found while doing all this the last few days specifically is a section for the permitting of keeping wild and/or poisonous animals within city limits! Guess who deals with that? Not the Health Department, just the plain Animal Control. Guess our chickens really are so dirty & dangerous to warrant the control of the Health Department! [​IMG]

    They've also changed their restrictions on rabbits (as of 2002) stating ONLY: "No more than four (4) adult rabbits may be kept in any one dwelling unit or premises within the city limits." Literally, that's it, when previously lumped together with our dirty, dangerous poultry & other scary livestock; there's no mention of housing requirements, distancing from property lines, lot size, etc. Not even that you HAVE to keep them indoors like they stipulate for pigs overnight... If we can get the CHICKEN ordinance to read like this I think I'll faint (one can dream right??)!
     
  3. Navyfarmgirl

    Navyfarmgirl New Egg

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    Feb 14, 2011
    Hi Mamaduck.
    This is the "lady from the farm market" I am assuming.
    The chickens are NOT being brought up yet. The bee ordinance is being brought up tomorrow at a committee meeting. WHich will be quick and easy and then the new ordinance will be drafted before public comment in June.
    None of the city council members are willing to vote on chickens until Bees have passed. Which is good. One thing at a time. The bunny thing came up as there was a discrepancy in the ordinance where once point it said they were illegal and the next said 4 were legal. They simply made it not contradict each other.
    The Health Director really has little to nothing to do with the situation. Dr. Lindsay was head of Portsmouth where chickens are allowed and I know has no problem with it. However, she has nothing to do with current code.
    Also, I am just asking EVERYONE please tread lightly at this second as I have blueprints and waste management plan in with the city to get our three little chickens (who were in my apartment and now out on a farm) to the farm market. They ARE legal at the market as long as I can get a health permit. They are working on it now but if too many people are questioning chickens they won't allow for this "pilot project" at market which will eventually lead to conversation with city. But if too much attention is brought they will say no as a "can't say yes to one and not others" type of decision.
    So again, we are working on this but it is a slow process and everyone's attention is focused on bees for the next few weeks.
    I am more than happy to talk with you about all the issues and multiple meetings on this and what we are trying to do with the pilot project at the market.
    Can you private message on this thing? I can give you my email if you want to email me and we can talk.
    But again, my permits are in right now and I am just hoping the approve them, so we can get chickens in city at market and then start debuffing myths. You would be surprised but there are a lot of people VERY against the chickens. VERY.
    But work is being done on this. Slow and steady.
     
  4. Mamma_Duck04

    Mamma_Duck04 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2011
    Crazyville, VA
    Hi there!

    I'm going to assume you weren't the lady I spoke to from what you're saying ;-) I will private message you.

    The only reason I mention the Director of the HD is because I was hoping to get input & some answers rather than just plain hate I've gotten just trying to ask questions of anyone else.

    The impression I got speaking with 'the other lady' at the Market was that there really wasn't much of an 'organized effort' with the chickens, which is all I was trying to acertain- since outside of this forum really, I've not been able to find anything but the article about chickens at your market- so that one could be accomplished & moved forward with vs. mass confusion, which seems to be what's happening in lots of places right now.

    Also, she impressed on me that it was 'very important' we come out & show support at tomorrow's Council Meeting because chickens were going to be mentioned (she didn't say they were going to move on anything) & there was no mention of bees on the radar, which is why I specifically asked for support here, since there's been separate requests for interest/help from VaBch & Chesapeake here within the last week.

    So if this thread turns out to be putting the horse before the cart, I'll request it be deleted then.
     
  5. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Closed at the request of the OP. [​IMG]
     
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