For those of you who follow this blog, you will be familiar with my multiple posts about my friend, Guy Niere. He and I and another couple are co-organizers for the local St. Louis Backyard Chicken Meetup List. We were contacted last Spring by the Post Dispatch, who came to his house and did an interview and photos of him with his rare, endangered Spanish Black Penedesenca breeding/recovery program.
The mayor of Black Jack was not aware that there were chicken keepers in his city limits, and many city council sessions ensued to find out what to do about ordinances. Since there are already nuisance and noise ordinances in place, which are about the only "crimes" a chicken can make, we chicken folks were out in spades to help Black Jack determine a solution.
The outcome is very positive and favourable, but the getting there was a bit nebulous - we chicken people were told that the issue was shelved until January and to not show up anymore in council sessions, but then they used November to bring up, refine, and pass the ordinances without us. It raises a lot of trust questions in my mind, especially since I had personally been called and invited and informed of previous meeting sessions, and was not informed of the agendas for that missing month.
But all is well that ends well. Rarity of all rarities - they have allowed for roosters, that is virtually unheard of, and people who have chickens already have until Jan 20th to apply for a permit. The inspector will come out and check your property. Whatever amount of poultry that you currently own will govern the numbers that you many have in the future with an up to 10% maximum over that number granted.
All in all, given the stress and work that we chicken people took to getting out "chicken ownership rights" acknowledged, I am very grateful to the council members of Black Jack for being right by us "greenies", who just want to know where our local food comes from, what it is fed, how it was raised, and do the environment right.
Guy just got his chickens inspected and approved today, he is the third to do so, if anyone knows any other chicken keepers out there in Black Jack who are not aware of this ordinance issue, please contact them, since no one will be allowed to apply for a permit for a year from now to get chickens. There is a person who HAD chickens, but does not have any right now, but plans to get them in the future, and he got an inspection and a permit, so it is important that people jump on it right now to make sure that their freedom to keep birds in the future is not hindered by local laws.
Dorene, off to hug her chickens