Friday, June 8, 2007

South Portlander's, Olivia Needs Your Help

For any readers in South Portland, Maine, please support Olivia Collins in her quest to raise a few hens as pets and for fresh organic eggs. South Portland's (hereafter called SoPo) zoning ordinance does not allow it. The following is from an email sent by Olivia's mother:

Here's Olivia's list of reasons why SoPo should amend the ordinance:


~Hens (no roosters!!) are quieter than dogs or parrots and as clean and non-smelly as any other pet when well-cared-for as urban pets, not barnyard animals.
~Fresh organic eggs are healthier than store-bought and better for the environment because fuel is not used trucking them to stores.
~My chickens will lead happy, healthy lives. They will be in an enclosed pen, though, and not roam onto anyone else's yard (like some dogs and cats do!)
~I will compost the droppings and use them in my vegetable garden: Reduce/Reuse/
~Pet chickens are fun and educational and bring the neighborhood together!
~Cities all over America encourage backyard chickens. Even Cape Elizabeth (Maine) allows them!

In the last few years, as the Green living, Eat Local, sustainable living, organic, recycle, etc movement has gained popularity, cities and towns all over America have been relaxing their chicken laws to allow 4-6 carefully tended, PET backyard hens for eggs. (Many cities offer classes in chicken care and organized coop tours, like garden tours!) We're talking about hens only, no roosters (no noise!) kept in a pretty, carefully-maintaine
d enclosed coop; raised by hand as pets and for eggs. Chicken droppings make amazing compost for the garden and the hens recycle kitchen scraps! Heritage breed chickens are calm, docile, and when hand-raised they become affectionate pets that come then they are called. This "City Chicken" trend is primarily in upscale neighborhoods, where residents design lovely coops that look like nice garden sheds, certainly not "downscale". Kept as urban pets, and cleaned regularly, city chickens don't smell. In all, they make less noise and smell than many dogs kept in South Portland.

We have 100% support from our neighbors and support of our local councilor. There are one or two council members who we feel misunderstand what we're proposing and are envisioning a dirty,
noisy, barnyard scene. They are worried about property values. However, Cape Elizabeth allows chickens with NO restrictions, (even roosters!) and their Code Enforcement officer said he's had NO PROBLEMS. Residents keep their chickens in attractive coops and are conscientious neighbors, not having roosters in tight neighborhoods and keeping the pens clean. If Cape can do it (with no decrease in property values!) so can we.

Let's convince the city council that South Portland can be as progressive as cities all over America in allowing people to raise hens as pets and for fresh eggs in our backyards. It's fun, educational, healthy, and environmentally sound!


Please call or email your City Councilor and let them know you support this! You can find your contact by clicking here
or by calling City Hall at 767-3201. You can also simply email or call Mayor Claude Morgan (contact info on the SoPo web site . For maximum impact, a show of support at the City Council meeting of supportive citizens would surely tip the scales! Please email us if you'd like to know when the meeting is scheduled.


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