urban chickens and garage sales

We’ve got a jam packed agenda for Tuesday’s city council meeting. I hope you’ll read through it and feel comfortable contacting me with your feedback. I’d like to point out two specific issues we’ll be taking up.

First, an ordinance allowing residents to keep chickens in the city. Some key points of the ordiance are: 4 chickens max per household, all hens (no roosters), 6 animals max (including dogs, cats, chickens), no slaughtering, coop must provide at least 4 sq ft per chicken, no selling of eggs.

In talking with folks about this, the only concerns I’ve heard are about cleanliness and noise. But I don’t see any difference between how we’d manage this and how we manage cats and dogs. As a dog owner I have to keep my yard clean, I have to keep my dog contained, and while my dog barks on occasion, I still have to make sure he’s not too noisy. So it’s really nothing new. You can read more details starting on page 16 of the packet for this meeting.

The second item I want to point out is a limitation in rummage sales. If passed, the ordinance will limit us to 3 rummage sales per year, with each such rummage sale lasting no more than 72 hours.

I don’t have much to say about this except that I’m fine with such an ordinance. I expect to get more feedback on the origins of this ordinance at the meeting. I do recall that when Tricia and I lived in Santa Ana, California in the 90s, we had a significant problem with residents having rummage sales every weekend. And with products like brand new clothing and shoes, it was obvious that they were just running a business out of their garage. So our city council passed an ordinance that defined 4 specific weekends per year when we could hold a rummage sale. This seemed quite limiting at first, but it turned out to be a great ordinance, especially if you liked shopping the sales. I don’t think our problem here in De Pere is that bad, but our ordinance will definitely make sure that the practice of holding rummage sales isn’t abused. Three per year should be plenty for any household. More details about this item are on page 10 of the packet for this meeting.

So, what do you think? Please contact me and let me know. Or better yet, post your feedback on my Facebook wall so that other neighbors can see your comments too, and we could perhaps get a discussion going.