As a few people in Brentwood, California come out from underground to propose a City Council amendment to the current ban on chickens on lots less than 20,000 square feet, our Neighborhood Watch Group circulated this flier to the residents of three housing tracts (one with an HOA) to rile up support against backyard chicken ownership (and it was written by a local psychologist): Greetings Neighborhood Watch (NW) Participants, Date: 1/4/10 Group Leaders: Please send out to all your contacts. Thank you. NW NEWS: The forwarded email below is from a very concerned resident. She has included an attachment listing her concerns about the Planning Commission's proposal to allow residents to raise three chickens in their backyard. Her list raises many questions about how this proposal may have a negative effect on your quality of life in Brentwood: I am opposing the Residential Chickens with Facts and not the emotional side to this discussion. I am asking that the city of Brentwood not change the current Municipal Code that prohibits chicken on lots less than 20,00 square feet in residential zones. Safety Concerns: coops attract rats, raccoons, coyotes, owls, hawks, and snakes into the backyards of the chicken owners and their neighbors. Predators puts everyone (adults, children, and pets) at risk of being seriously harmed. Bad hygiene: foul odor in the winter, worse in the summer heat, abundance of flies in and out of our homes Noise Problems: chickens crowing at night and in the early morning cause a disturbance to the neighbors, noise and smell will bait pets such as dogs to bark, which will increase the barking problems and more neighbor difficulties. Pet waste: chicken owners should be held to the same standards are dog owners. Chicken poop 1000 times a day. Manure sinks. Chicken manure will pollute our water system affecting our drinking water with exposure to the rain run off polluting our drinking water with bacteria and excess nutrients. There are no standards of how to care or clean for the manure for residential owners. There are health implications with residential chickens in ill-equipped backyards. Contagious Disease: Bird Flu, Contagious diseases can spread through a flock to commercial birds. Disease organisms may be carried on shoes and clothing. Disease caused by microscopic parasites that infects the intestines. Decrease of property value-eye soar and it sinks Homes built too close together to expect wildlife to live in a confined space. Lack of common courteous for the neighbors and the neighborhood Animal Shelters unprepared to end up with chickens that are unwanted or have caused a family stress. How will the city regulate the maintenance of the coop or backyard area? Code enforcement will need to check that owners are properly abiding by the law and maintaining a clean environment? What are the standards for cleaning chicken manure that will be implemented? Who will educate the resident of the contagious disease and what the early symptoms are? There is a place for agricultural and a place for residential. We pay a high premium to have the right to not live near farm animals and foul smell. ********************** So Backyard Chicken members, numerous residents wrote the City based on the above information. Now how do we undo the ignorance that has been spread over several large and "loud" neighborhoods before this goes to City Council at the end of the month? Your feedback would be appreciated.