the state

– of chicken response. by vastate
Thursday, 30 July 2009, 13:17
Filed under: -of harrisonburg, -of jhumphrey, -of politik

here’s what nicholas detweiler-stoddard


of the Harrisonburg Backyard Chicken Project


had to say in response to tuesday’s vote:

Good Afternoon Jill,

We are certainly disappointed, frustrated after that gut shot on Tuesday, but we have to be grateful that the result was not a total “NO!” The decision to allow chickens on two acres gives us something to work with in the future. It sets a valuable precedent.

Of course, it raises many questions for the participants and supporters of the Harrisonburg Backyard Chicken Project. Primarily, what are the best next steps forward? Secondarily, what do we do now with the hens that some of us have been keeping for years (though many had received zoning notices and moved their hens before or during this 8 month process)? We do not wish to harm public support by being seen as unlawful yet I find myself asking, “what are my relationships and responsibilities to civic structures when I find them lacking or ill-informed?”

For now, we feel it best to let the public waters calm as we figure out creative and proper next steps. We are clear that we will fervently continue with the many avenues toward a sustainable, holistic city in which participants are already engaged. Chicken keeping may have been our most public initiative, but it is by no means the only or most important matter for us!

In my experience, much opposition can be transformed simply by allowing persons to see and interact with a few hens in the actual backyard context. Through an experiential rather than a strictly verbal/written argument people can better determine whether their worst fears really are founded! To this end, you may see city-wide coop tours on two+ acre lots in the coming year.

Keep working for the greater good!

Peace be with you,
Nicholas Detweiler-Stoddard

Harrisonburg Backyard Chicken Project participant


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