The residents of northwest Roanoke for the most part resent the potential for the introduction of 400 chickens in their neighborhood. It isn’t in the Countryside Master Plan for that parcel.
Commercial Urban Agriculture, yes but not a word was said about chickens or farm animals. Some neighborhoods have fowl and farm animal restrictions in their deeds.
I attended every meeting with the Planning Commission as the Master Plan was constructed. Never once were chickens brought up for the 12-acre parcel.
This is just the first proposal for the 130-acre former Countryside golf course and the manure has hit the fan already. That is why the neighborhood did not support the plan in the first place. We knew something like this would happen in the ambiguity of the wording in the plan.
I finally got advocate Rick Williams with the Planning Commission to admit no mention of chickens was every on the table at the work sessions.
The inability to produce one city in the nation that has an urban farm with chickens this size in a residential neighborhood is elusive. I have searched and searched YouTube clips and internet. I could find none.
The closest clips were “free range chickens” but none were residential. I found plenty of clips of backyard chickens.
The Wall Street Journal article doesn’t mention chickens. It only talks about urban farming. The urban farms are planned in new developments and not forced into existing neighborhoods where some if not all don’t appreciate them.
This parcel was supposed to be the easiest of all the parcels. Now the neighborhood is in frenzy. Not just our neighborhood but the adjoining Miller Court.
The neighbors who never came to our meetings over the past six years have come out of the woodwork now. Especially those that are directly affected. Lack of engagement has consequences. Begging them to pay attention all these years yielded only frustration to their apathy.
How did this get so far out of hand? I can tell you that I am very tired. Neighbors are irritated. Some say they can’t take anymore. I myself “resent the introduction of the chickens (and dogs).”
Next Thursday if the $1.5 million is spent on something other than making us whole the “for sale” sign goes up in my yard. Let someone else fight city hall for awhile.
Those that said “they are going to do whatever they want to do” and sat home have kept their sanity. While those of us stressing to protect the neighborhood have wasted what little life as seniors we have left.
PS: I’ve been there and done that. In Franklin County we had at least an acre I mostly farmed. I grew everything there was to grow. I canned, froze and pickled through the summer. We had no chickens but got cow manure from local farmers. That worked just fine.
Posted By Valerie Garner