Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CLUCK Milestone: City Chickens Pass Three Year Probationary Period

Three years ago, thirty Sarasotans attempted to convince four Sarasota City Commissioners that, despite the dire warnings of ten other Sarasotans, a negative vote from the Planning Commission, and a stalemated position from the important local neighborhood congress, CCNA, the sky would not fall if they allowed City residents with single family homes to have as many as four hens in their backyards. The Board discussion was tense until Fredd Atkins cut through the fog and made it clear that three votes were there, enabling Dick Clapp to make it a four-zero vote


Three years and one month later, on February 18th, 2014 another commission, based on the recommendation of staff, voted unanimously to make permanent their three year experiment. 

No one was there to speak against making the ordinance permanent, in part because chicken complaint calls since passage have averaged just one-third of one percent of all code complaint calls.

In addition to the support of staff and the commission, special thanks are due longtime supporters Kafi Benz, Megan Jourdan, and Virginia Hoffman for their testimony. 

Virginia Hoffman, Ann McVoy, Fran Tiner, Arlene  Boyle, Jono Miller, Laney Poire
Missing from photo: Megan Jourdan, Betsy Roberts, Jodi John, Ray Sullivan,
Carolyn Loesch, Amy Boyd, and  April.

Now a new push is needed to bring the benefits of backyard hens to traditional neighborhoods in the Unincorporated portions of Sarasota County.

In the past three years, backyard hens have been allowed in Duval County (Jacksonville), Manatee County, Hernando County, and Pinellas County. Their experience, combined with the realities in the City of Sarasota and Venice, argue that Sarasota County now needs to bring county rules into alignment with the City. 

1 comment:

G Crain-Orth said...

Way to go, Sarasota CLUCK! We in Jacksonville are so appreciative of the assistance you provided in getting our ordinance passed and are equally proud your three year trial period has ended with such success! We're hopeful we'll see the same success here in Duval!

Cluck, yeah!