Backyard chicken raising is officially going through the Dunwoody rule making process of Community Council, Planning Commission and finally the City Council. After much debate the city has drafted a cover memo as well as a version of the ordinance and on Thursday night the Community Council has the first review of the proposal.
I have received much feedback on this issue both pro and con with passionate people on both sides. I have a neighbor who raised chickens here in Dunwoody, have been a vocal supporter of backyard chickens on the council and now that there is official proposed language on the matter I will be silent and listen to the debate until which time the matter comes in front of me.
That being said, I want to share two final comments. The first is a block of text from an e-mail I received which encourages those who are voting on the matter to know what they are talking about by visiting a Dunwoody backyard chicken coop and looking at the requirements being put into place.
I think the community council members, as well as the planning and zoning commissioners, and the members of city council and the mayor owe it to themselves to visit one of the backyards that has chickens, and meets the guidelines that will be presented by staff, so that an informed decision can be made when it comes time to vote. I'd like to see this thing get decided based on some objective basis, not based on some subjective "feelings, or speculation on what it might lead to.And second comment is for those who keep chickens and would like to invite the members of the Community Council, Planning Commission and City Council to visit your coop but not sure how to do so. I was looking on the city webpage for group e-mail addresses for each of the committees but couldn't find a way to contact either the Community Council or the Planning Commission, therefore just send me the invitation and I will find a way to forward it. Finally since those members of the Community Council and Planning Commission can't be reached by e-mail; I thought I would show them what a Dunwoody chicken coop looks like. Here is a video Pattie Baker made available on her new, Sustainable Pattie website which was filmed in a Dunwoody backyard.
Right now, I have to believe these meetings will be packed with proponents from both sides of the issue. Right now I also believe the arguments from both sides will generate more heat than light.
(Update - committee e-mails are available here.)