It has been hard enough for an all-volunteer citizen group to mount an ambitious campaign to inform decision-makers, citizen leaders and the media. But, aside from the cost of a referendum itself, asking a citizen group to find the funds to mount a political campaign (for OR against) while we are paying Commissioners to analyze the situation and make decisions for us is a misallocation of resources.
This is a decision the Commission is completely capable of making on its own. CLUCK has been working on this for year and a half and that should be long enough for the City to make a decision without further delay and major expense.
If the City wants to explore neighbor veto, a major policy change, they should make that a proposal and then we can argue about what is in and what is out. But any major shift in doctrine of this magnitude should be fully discussed and not hidden in a piece of animal regulation.
Now some think we should include a right of inspection for chickens. Again this is a major policy issue that involves private property rights. If the City wants to marshal some attorneys to figure out how to broaden inspectors ability to look around -- fine, let's have that discussion. But trying to insert this significant change in chicken language is not the way to go about it and could lead to bizarre situations like the right check on chickens, but not a junkyard.
Bottom Line: CLUCK has listened to all the testimony, read all the letters to the Editor, and paid attention at neighborhood meetings. As a result CLUCK has proposed numerous changes in response to concerns. But CLUCK is not interested in escalating this relatively simple matter to referendum status.
And if the City engages in a broad community discussion about allowing neighbors to veto your activities or changing your rights relative to code enforcement and the results of that broad policy shift affect backyard chickens, so be it. But using a an animal ordinance as a backdoor assault on property rights is not appropriate, and needs to be labeled as such.