10 Months to Study an Ordinance!

May 26, 2012 at 9:34 am Leave a comment

You think government moves slow? Well in Golden Valley it moves at a snail’s pace! From the Sun Post;

A decision on whether people in Golden Valley can keep chickens won’t come quickly. Rich Baker, chair of the city’s Environmental Commission, outlined a draft work plan for that group’s study of the issue at a City Council work session May 8.

The commission has been charged with studying whether Golden Valley city code should be amended to allow people to keep chickens. The City Council originally stipulated a six-month study, but Baker said last week the work cannot be completed within six months.

Can’t be done? The council works on the budget in less time!

“You gave us eight points to cover, and we felt obligated to cover them,” Baker said. “If we hadn’t gotten eight points, we would have tried to do this faster.” The group’s motivation will be to resolve the issue before spring 2013, Baker said. Baker said the group will hear presentations from the following groups: 

Professionals opposed to keeping chickens in urban environments (Animal Humane Society, Chicken Run Rescue)

Professionals supportive of keeping chickens in urban environments

Representatives of cities similar to Golden Valley that allow chickens (Robbinsdale, New Hope, St. Anthony, and Shoreview)

Wildlife professionals regarding environmental and wildlife impacts (Department of Natural Resources)

A real estate agent regarding the effect of chickens on real estate values

Golden Valley code enforcement staff, police, and city attorney

Planning staff and Planning Commission review of land use issues

The Planning Commission? Land use? Come on!

“We want to hear a diversity of views,” Baker said.

That sounds like a delaying tactic to us. Why don’t you just contact New Hope or Maple Grove and ask them the what and how?

A city Web page will be created to accept comments from the public, Baker said. He also anticipates a public open house in late summer to provide an opportunity for citizens to address the commission on the issue.

You could have done that six months ago and you can hold a public hearing at any time. It doesn’t take 10 months.

Other priorities

Baker last week also reviewed the Environmental Commission’s priorities for 2012, but said there won’t be much time to consider them until the chicken issue is resolved.

“This [the chicken study] will be in place of other things we might be doing,” Baker said. “This will consume us for the next year. We intend to do a good job. It will not be a wasted effort. There’s a lot of interest in this.”

The commission’s other priorities for 2012 include:

Transportation alternatives


Natural area management plans

Pilot project of solar panels on city buildings

Promotion of student and school projects

Development of a green fair section for the home remodeling fair.

The environmental commission is going to prioritize “promoting school projects?” How about we let the schools do that! And can’t the “development of a green fair” wait?

Issues the city would have to decide before allowing chickens, council members said earlier, include what would constitute humane living conditions for chickens, how the regulations would be enforced, disposal of waste products, odors, noise, building permits for coops, and whether the fowl are to be considered pets, egg-producers or companions.

Two years ago, a 19-year resident of Golden Valley, spurred by community interest across the country in raising chickens, told the council many cities are changing their ordinances to allow chickens in backyards, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, San Franciso, Portland, Dallas and Miami.

In the Twin Cities metro area, chickens are allowed in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, Burnsville and New Hope.

So it takes two years to do a study and then 10 MORE MONTHS to conduct this? This is ridiculous.

But the Golden Valley City Council decided at that time not to carry the discussion any further.

memo to citizens in Golden Valley; don’t hold your breath!


Entry filed under: City Government, Community, Golden Valley.

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