Friday, September 23, 2011

Feeling henpecked in northwest city

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

Categories: Community


Comments (5)

Jack Mcguire

September 25th, 2011 at 10:41 AM    

Don’t give up the ship. Fighting govt. is a full time endless job. I know you are tired of the battle, but folks like you who speak up on issues are of the greatest value. Without folks like you and others who speak up on the issues government would roll over us.
Yes, apathy is our greatest enemy. I myself am the only one I personally know that speaks up to govt. officials on a daily basis. I write, call and email endlessly with very few results. The occasional victory makes it worth it. And officials need to kmow that their are people out there that will not simply capitulate to their wills.
We may dissagree on certain issues, but the main thing people need to do is “get involved” .. Call ,write or email your representatives on City, State, and Local issues. Don’t wait till it is too late to speak up. Don’t wait for other people to do it. Step up, stand up and speak out.


September 25th, 2011 at 9:40 PM    

I was very tired when I wrote this. Feeling a bit better now.

Neighbors are stressed too and irritable.

Thought long and hard about this over the weekend. Talked to a neighbor today … conclusion is they are insulting our intelligence on trying to sell us chickens. Agriculture OK but there is no place in the nation that has 400 chickens in a residential area (city). Search as I might I could find none. The co-op can’t produce one either.

Jack Mcguire

September 26th, 2011 at 8:00 AM    

Precedent seems to carry a lot of weight with govt. entities. Perhaps the lack of it will help your case against the chicken farm.

[…] How many different headlines can there be for articles about 400 chickens in Roanoke City? We had “ruffled feathers” by Mason Adams and today’s editorial “bird in the hand” and my own contribution (sorry I took this one RT) “henpecked.” […]

Tim Glover

October 8th, 2011 at 10:35 PM    

Keep fighting! I just came home today to Oakleaf Dr. and someone had thought to stuff our boxes with news of this plan. I really appreciate the heads up. I can’t do anything to compare to this post, but we don’t need better voices, just more voices.

Share my Facebook page. On it I have created a page: No Chicken Farm in NW Roanoke. Let’s rally together!

Tim Glover

Comments are not moderated. Notify any abuse at put ABUSE in the subject and the offensive post.

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