Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Chicken Activist's Letter to Dr. Ella Ward

Our group, 4 Chesapeake Hens, is working to change zoning laws in Chesapeake, VA, to allow more residents to own pet laying hens. The current law only allows hens on land zoned agricultural or on residential estates of three acres or more. We have made some progress: City Council voted to send the issue to the Planning Commission, which will probably review it on October 10. On October 9, Patricia "Pat" Foreman, the author of City Chicks, will give a book-signing, reception, and lecture at the Chesapeake Central Library. If readers are interested in attending, please keep in mind that books and tickets must be purchased in advance of this event.

In the meantime, we are continuing with our program of "City Council Member of the Week." This week's council member has been Dr. Ella Ward. Here is my most recent letter, addressed to her:

Dear Dr. Ella Ward:

On behalf of "4 Chesapeake Hens," let me thank you for your vote to send the "hen issue" to the Planning Commission for a recommendation. Our group is confident that the Commission's diligent research will produce recommendations in favor of the hens.

We hope that you or a representative of yours will be able to make it to Patricia Foreman's talk about the benefits of chickens at the Central Library on Tuesday, October 9. Pat has degrees in city planning, animal science, genetics, and nutrition, so she knows whereof she speaks.

In the meantime, if you have any concerns or questions for us, feel free to let us know. We will make our best efforts to address them.

Mary Lou Burke

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

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