Tampa to try again Feb 21, 2013 getting City Council to allow chickens

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by Back to Basics, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Back to Basics

    Back to Basics New Egg

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    Jan 31, 2012
    Greetings to everyone living in Tampa, Florida USA

    Last April, the Tampa City Council voted in favor to amend that 1990 ordinance which makes it impossible for Tampa residents to raise chickens in their backyards. Now, 10 MONTHS later, the Tampa City Council is finally ready to...allow chickens? No. They're ready to REVIEW the PROPOSED CHANGES to the restrictions. (And boy, you should see the concessions they have in mind.) If you live in Tampa, and you want chickens, this cock fight is far from over.

    Here is a link to the newspaper article:

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/tampa-to-revisit-rules-on-backyard-chickens/1275058

    Basically, the Council wants to ease restrictions just enough so that anyone wanting backyard chickens can have only 1 hen per 1,000 square feet of land. That's right, folks! While many municipalities across the United States have "seen the light"... fully understanding that people will need to raise chickens in order to feed their families in the future.... and even allowing a minimum of 3 (sometimes 5) hens from the get-go.... the Tampa City Council, on the other hand, is more concerned about being "sensitive". In their minds, if they can get away with one lonely hen per 1000-sq-ft of land, then it will appear as though they're giving people what they want, when actually it's not the much.

    Here are the facts:

    1. The economy WILL crash (whether you believe it or not, and sooner than you think).
    2. If you're lucky, one hen *MIGHT* lay one egg per day (many breeds lay just a few times per week).
    3. It's the poor and middle class, living on small plots of land, who need to raise chickens to feed their families!!
    4. No wealthy person need worry someone in their neighborhood might raise chickens(that's what neighbor associations are for).

    If this is something that concerns you, be sure to contact your Tampa City Council representative. Even attend the meeting on Feb 21. And if you're reading this posting after that date, contact them anyway to voice your opinion.

    Regards, Chris
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  2. AdrienneWFLA

    AdrienneWFLA New Egg

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    Feb 19, 2013
    Chris -

    I'm doing a story on this for WFLA-TV. If you could email me I'd love to chat. Thanks!

    [email protected]

    - Adrienne
     
  3. LeelooD

    LeelooD Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
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    We are doing the same in Escambia County. Someone in the planning department is claiming that animal control will need $400,000 to deal with all the loose chickens that irresponsible people are going to release in the streets if chickens are allowed in residential areas. [​IMG] The funny thing is that it's legal in Pensacola which is a part of the county, but the unincorporated areas? Nope, can't have chickens unless you are zoned rural and have 1.5+ acres!
     
  4. Back to Basics

    Back to Basics New Egg

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    Jan 31, 2012
    Dear Ms. Pedersen,

    Thank you for your consideration, however, I am uninterested in media publicity.

    My view about this forever ongoing issue with the Tampa City Council is this: if they're going to give regular citizens the right keep backyard chickens again, then they need to stop trying to "save face". With neighborhood association by-laws in effect, it should be completely okay for any poor or middle-class citizen living in other neighborhood to keep a minimum of 3 hens. We're not talking about alligators here, they're BIRDS (just like cockatiels or parrots). And it is a whole lot better to have a few neighbors with egg-laying hens, rather than one neighbor who has a dog. Hens are naturally quiet, especially when their allowed to roam and forage within a fenced-in backyard. Dogs, on the other hand, are hardwired to bark loudly at anything they see. And there's no limit to the number of dogs a person can keep.

    Growing up in Ybor City, we had a dozen hens. Our family, including everyone in the neighborhood, had plenty of fresh eggs and there were NO problems because we were responsible chicken owners. Given the really difficult times that are fast approaching, any city government in the America needs to start making proactive decisions on what is going to be best for the future survival of its citizens.

    Best Regards,
    Chris
     
  5. Back to Basics

    Back to Basics New Egg

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    Jan 31, 2012
    That's not strange at all. It sounds like more of that "urban sustainability"/Agenda-21 crap that city and county governments are blindly adopting nowadays. They find plausible excuses to put restrictions in place, and conveniently it also impacts people's ability to live where they want and raise their own food. I tell you, any government, made up of people who both love freedom and understand what is going on in this country, will work hard to edit laws and ordinances that promote the liberties of its citizens. That's why I think so many local governments around the USA are suddenly allowing people to keep backyard chickens again. They finally "get" it.

    My advice to you: find more people in your area who want to raise backyard chickens. Then form a group on Facebook, start an issue with your local county commission, and use Facebook advertising to get the word out. Then get lots of people in favor of backyard chickens to show up at each and every government meeting that is open to the public to represent their desires. Even if the local governing body plays the "let's find a reason to put this issue off for 8 months" game, people need to stay on top of things otherwise chicken haters (conveniently) show up giving the governing body a reason to continue stalling.

    Funny how it's so easy for governments to quietly put restrictions in place which take away freedom, but then trying to get those freedoms back years later practically takes an act of God. [​IMG]

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  6. LeelooD

    LeelooD Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
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    Quote:
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  7. LeelooD

    LeelooD Out Of The Brooder

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    NW Florida
    Deleted this post since I fixed the problem it was about! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  8. Back to Basics

    Back to Basics New Egg

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    Jan 31, 2012
    That is EXACTLY the kind of garbage I'm talking about. Rule #1: Never assume a government official is on your side just because they act friendly. Rule #2: If they claim something is a certain way, or that they're going to do something to help you... always follow up to make sure. Rule #3: Your group has to be tenacious in calling the office of the governing official(s), checking and re-checking meeting schedules, reading over transcripts, etc. just to make sure they don't pull any tricks. Falter on any of these details and the number of supporters who can show up to a meeting is greatly diminished. (Yet somehow there's always haters there to tell stories to illustrate how removing the restrictions will cause the gates of hell to burst open.)

    It's important to remember that any elected government official in the United States is there to represent the people's wishes. If the people want a chimpanzee holding a red balloon on every corner, then so shall it be regardless of how the elected official "feels". But instead, what we are seeing is elected officials telling people whatever they want to hear, and then using their elected position to do whatever they please, even going as far as being sneaky to manipulate the situation. Case in point: they avoid making a benign activity (like backyard chickens) illegal because doing so could attract publicity which might cause things to go in a direction that they and their peers don't want. So they quietly place restrictions. Then, two years later, you end up getting an expensive citation that you can't fight because it's been on the book for a while and so a precident has been set. In actuality, it's been on the books a while because nobody knew about it. So by the time citizens are fed up, the government has already changed over, nobody knows why things are the way they are, and so they're forced to pursue change through legal routes. That's when all the unnecessary resistance come out because people by and large don't even want any restriction removed otherwise they're sure it's going to ruin their lives. Government officials (particularly the ones who are lawyers) know all of this and therefore use it to their advantage.

    So all I can tell you , LeelooD, is keep up the fight! With enough people contacting the local government official(s) demanding positive change, contacting the local media, staying on top of things so your group knows each time when to show up, and making sure that nobody gives up until those restrictions are lifted, you can indeed turn things around. Even if your local government says "this issue has already been decided", don't let them discourage you. NO issue is ever "decided" until the majority of people say it's been decided. That's how democracy works.

    Best Regards,
    Chris
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  9. LeelooD

    LeelooD Out Of The Brooder

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    I had come to the conclusion that we have to check the agendas regularly, because they might try to sneak something in on us again. One chicken hater did mysteriously show up last night and was the first speaker! Also, the multimillionaire guy got up and walked out after we started speaking! The two of them just got us more fired up and people who hadn't even planned to speak on behalf of allowing chickens got up and talked. We made it a late night for them! I didn't have much faith in government before, but this closeup lesson in how they play tricks has been really frustrating! Thanks for reinforcing that perception! I'm going to keep reminding everyone not to get complacent again!

    Also, a bunch of people campaigned for dog beaches which some of the commissioners didn't want either, but they gave in last night and agreed to a six month trial. We found it quite ironic that they were agreeing to allow dogs on public beaches, but not chickens on private property. I'm sure they'll probably try to shut the dog people down if they have any excuse.
     

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