Change Ordinance in Chicago Heights, IL

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by AdaliaStark, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. AdaliaStark

    AdaliaStark Chirping

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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    I haven't worked with them but I've worked to change chicken ordinances in many cities. Maybe I can give some guidance.
     
  3. AdaliaStark

    AdaliaStark Chirping

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    Hi!

    Thank you! I know I need to get support from multiple people to make the proposed changes more likely to succeed, could the changes still suceed if I can't get support for multiple people for some reason? I know I would need to gather information on what surrounding chicken friendly cities have done and I assume I would use that a guidline for my city? I also read I would need to contact my city council to get this placed on the agenda for a meeting. But I'm basically not really sure where to start to exactly, as I've read this thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/chicken-laws-and-ordinances-and-how-to-change-them.65675/
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    Make friends and allies with as many city council members to start with.
    It is good information but don't waste a lot of time learning what other cities ordinances are. In the end, the board will turn it over to the city attorney to write the ordinances. All he/she will do is research it and clone the ordinances of other cities because they have no knowledge of what chickens need.
    93 of the 100 largest cities in the US allow chickens.
    While you are culturing relationships with the board, start getting allies among residents - especially close neighbors. That is critical.
    There is probably a chicken meetup group in the area you can join and members could come to speak on your behalf.
    Once all that is in play, contact the media. Newspapers, radio and TV love those stories but wait till you are ready to make your push.
     
  5. AdaliaStark

    AdaliaStark Chirping

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    Okay, how do I go about doing that? Finding a chicken meetup group in my area and making allies with city council members? As for residents and neighbors, would posting flyers work? Like to let them know what I'm doing and why?
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    The USPS has mailing lists for any zip code. Get one from them for your city.
    Go door to door in your neighborhood and see how they feel about your plan.
    Have pictures of what a nice backyard chicken coop looks like with a few hens browsing in greenery. Some people imagine a poultry farm. Some old timer city council members grew up on farms with a nasty chicken coop no one cleaned. Be prepared for that.
    Tell them they will be pets.

    Go to your city council meetings and introduce yourself to each independently. Don't start off telling them your plan. Perhaps do that at the second meeting. Might I add that this will take 6 months to a year of city council meetings. Attend them all because they may talk about you and take votes in your absence.
    Be prepared for opponents claiming chickens bring disease, vermin, odor, etc.. Get ready to have counter arguments.
    Go to meetup.com and find one in your area.
    There is an ap and a website to contact all local media about potential stories.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  7. AdaliaStark

    AdaliaStark Chirping

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    Okay! I assume the mailing list is for letting residents and neighbors know about that I want backyard chickens in our city and would like their support? For the pictures of nice coops; would it work if I create a small 1-2 page info packet, to give to neighbors, with those pictures and responses to common counter arguements? To help them see why I want to do this and maybe even benefits, like not buying eggs from a grocery store anymore and the chickens cleaning up pests from gardens? What is the name of the app and website for contacting local media?

    I checked meetup.com, there are over 50 people interesting a Chicago Heights Urban Chickens group but it doesn't have an organizer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    You can be the organizer. I don't know the app, another member of our meetup who lives on my street and also had chickens did the media thing. At the beginning of the battle with the city, I walk out of the house and there were TV cameras in my driveway. Later I drove by the mayor's house and they were interviewing him in his driveway. Then they filmed at the city council meetings. I think the negative publicity for the city went a long way to help. Partly because they had negative publicity a couple years earlier over an ordinance that required couples be married in order to get an occupancy permit.
    I teach chicken classes at community colleges and various green venues like the Botanical Garden, Gateway Greening, Humane Society, etc.. Williams Sonoma started getting into outdoors stuff like gardening and chicken coops and I held a class there which was actually attended by a whole city council in that city.
    I wouldn't make the brochure too wordy or cluttered. Perhaps one picture of the ideal setting and a brief description. In printed material, less is more. Most people are averse to reading more than a few words.
    Over the years I've done many TV interviews for educational events about backyard chickens, usually in conjunction to residents of a city attempting ordinance changes.

    The things that are almost universally impossible to change are subdivision by-laws.
    The lesson there is - don't live in a subdivision if you think you may want chickens.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  9. AdaliaStark

    AdaliaStark Chirping

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    Mar 10, 2019
    Illinois
  10. AdaliaStark

    AdaliaStark Chirping

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    Mar 10, 2019
    Illinois
    I've done some more looking into when our city council meetings are, they are on Wednesday at 6-7pm twice a month. I have started work on a pamphlet, once it is done I just use the mailing list to mail a copy to everyone in the neighborhood? Should I bring one or more copies with me to the city council meetings?
     

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