Thursday, August 23, 2012

City Chicks in Chesapeake!

  Through a Facebook page called 4 Chesapeake Hens, I've been organizing a grass-roots network to change the zoning laws in Chesapeake, Virginia, to allow more residents to keep laying hens as pets. Current zoning allows chickens only on land zoned agricultural or on three-acres "residential estates." Recently the City Council voted to send the "hen issue" to the Planning Commission for review and a recommendation with only one "no" vote, as explained in prior posts.

The Planning Commission will review the matter as early as its regular meeting on Wednesday, October 10. On October 9, Patricia "Pat" Foreman, the author of City Chicks: Keeping Micro-flocks of Chickens as Garden Helpers, Compost Makers, Bio-recyclers, and Local Food Producers, will appear at the Chesapeake Central Library as part of her East Coast Book Tour.

Pat graduated from Indiana University with a Masters of Public Administration.  She went on to graduate school and received her BSC both from Indiana, and then from Purdue University, where she majored in Animal Science, Genetics and Nutrition.  She is both an author and licensed pharmacist. We've been told her lectures are fascinating.

During this lecture, she will explore the role chickens play in the following four subjects:
  • Enhancing Backyard Agriculture
  • Diverting Food and Yard “Waste” Out of Landfills
  • Decreasing Oil Consumption and Lowering Carbon Footprints
  • National Defense & Emergency Preparedness

Our group has gotten positive media coverage in the past from the Virginian Pilot, the Chesapeake Clipper, and WTKR News Channel 3. Reporter Marjon Rostami, in a recent article in the Clipper, pointed out that "dozens" of our supporters came to a recent City Council meeting decked in red, the color of the "Little Red Hen." 

"4 Chesapeake Hens" at City Council

We've been told that one of our key roles in the community should be to educate the public, and we are doing just that. We have invited our media contacts, the City Council, the Planning Commission, and others to Pat's highly educational, interesting, and well-informed lecture. If you would like to help, please attend our event, distribute flyers, and encourage others to do the same. Books for the book-signing portion of the event must be purchased in advance of the event. Tickets are limited and available for a donation to the Gossamer Foundation but must be acquired in advance through this website:

If the media took notice of a few dozen supporters, imagine the kind of attention our cause will get at an event of over 200 people that sells out! Please, help us make that happen!

Update: On November 20, Chesapeake City Council voted 6-3 to allow hens with certain restriction in residential areas.

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