Clea D.
user 6010415
Aurora, CO
Post #: 1
So, to start a spinoff on the Denver thread, I live in Aurora and have four illegal chicks that I want to make legal without a lot of fuss. Anyone else here in Aurora?

I have a friend involved in the Longmont petition process that I will contact for ideas, plus I will go check out www.denverbackyardfarms.org.

Aurora used to be a farming community. Seems like this should help things but I'm not holding my breath.

I have noticed in all my research of zoning laws that many of my neighbors are violating other zoning laws like "outside storage" aka junk piles in their lawn. Makes me think...

I'm hoping giving my neighbors some eggs will help, but I also want to start the process to be above board.

Anyway, anyone else here in Aurora and want to join the campaign?

Good to meet you all!

Clea
intuitivegardening.net
A former member
Post #: 5
Clea,

I don't live in Aurora, but I do work for the city currently - not to worry. I work in Comprehensive Planning and know that the Planning Review department is actually working on updating their zoning code. One of the Planners is working specifically on zoning code revisions to help make things like having urban gardens and chickens easier. Living in Denver, and working for the city of Aurora, I happen to think that Aurora is a bit more progressive than Denver. Now is the time to draw support for these ideas. Even though these ideas are being worked on by Planning Staff, things have to be approved by the City Council. I would suggest you speak to your City Council person and the petition sounds like a positive step. Council needs to know what the people want. The city staff work for Council, essentially, so if the Council doesn't think their constituents want something, it may not get any traction.

Good for you for pursuing this legitimately! Ultimately, it is providing a greater benefit to your community.

cheers,

Brenda
A former member
Post #: 1
Hi Clea
I live in Aurora, but I am sure that my neighborhood covenants would prohibit chickens even if - when the city will allow them. That being said, I have been part of a group helping City and County of Denver rewrite/streamline issues related to urban ag and I would be delighted to connect with you around lending my voice and ideas to the Aurora cause.
Contact me off line sarahgabriel at comast dot net
Clea D.
user 6010415
Aurora, CO
Post #: 2
Thank you Brenda and Sarah! I feel a little overwhelmed... your post help.

I will email you Sarah, and contact my council member once I figure out what to say. :) I have a few other friends who would like to help, too.
James
user 8965006
Denver, CO
Post #: 3
Regarding development covenants that prohibit chickens, these restrictions may fall in the future and anyone reading this who wants to be an activist could help make them fall.

Here's how. In 1996 Congress passed the Telecommunications Act and directed the FCC to enforce a rule barring covenants from restricting satellite dishes. According to the FCC: "The Telecommunications Act and this new rule are designed to promote competition among video programming service providers, enhance consumer choice, and assure wide access to communications."

Thus, like it or not, the groundwork was laid for the federal government to preempt covenant rules that were deemed to be bad for the public. Local governments could use the same legal principles to bar covenants from resticting, say, chickens and goats.

Progressive Aurora pols could vote for an ordinance whose preamble reads: "The Food-producing Animal Act is designed to enhance consumer choice by allowing the public to produce its own protein sources, to know what goes into its food production, to help families become more self-sufficient, to reduce environmental degradation, and to reduce animal cruelty."
Krista
My2TwinsMom
Denver, CO
Post #: 239
Progressive Aurora pols could vote for an ordinance whose preamble reads: "The Food-producing Animal Act is designed to enhance consumer choice by allowing the public to produce its own protein sources, to know what goes into its food production, to help families become more self-sufficient, to reduce environmental degradation, and to reduce animal cruelty."


Do tell more,
how step by step we'd go about this
can we meet up to discuss this?
Clea D.
user 6010415
Aurora, CO
Post #: 3
Great information.

BTW, here is how to find your City Council member and contact him or her:

Go to http://www.auroragov....­ and click on Aurora Connect on the right of the screen.



James
user 8965006
Denver, CO
Post #: 4
Krista,

I suggest starting with research to find out how local governments have used their power to make laws for the health, safety and welfare of its citizens (often referred to as “police powers”) to impose restrictions on covenants. Since there are tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of covenant communities in the US and many local governments, probably somewhere some local governments have done this. The holy grail would be cases where the local governments have banned the covenant communities from banning something, as with the Communications Act banning covenant communities from banning satellite dishes.

Finding such cases would help the Aurora City Council comprehend that they would not be sticking their necks out too far (sorry, couldn’t resist) if they supported your proposal. Who knows, maybe Aurora has already done this with other things, so maybe the place to start with the research is with someone like the city attorney who advises Council. Brenda should be able to advise the correct contact for this.

The second step would be to develop a legal supporting theory that would justify the law you are seeking. I think this could easily be done by relying on all the benefits to families, health and the environment to address the health, safety and general welfare concerns that local government uses to justify its laws.

The third step will be to get the law passed, and I predict that this will be exponentially harder than the first and second steps. Your group will have to rally public support and fight covenant communities who would oppose your position. (Of course, some covenant communities may support you and in any event the people in the communities will not all have the same view so some owners may support you even if the association opposes you.) This would likely be an intense public campaign in which you would ruffle a lot of feathers. You would need a group of dedicated volunteers and a growing base of public support. The media will be your best friend in this, and exploiting it will be one of the keys to success. (The media loves to write about chickens, and they love it even more if they can report about chicken fights.) I could offer strategic advice but wouldn’t be part of your dedicated volunteer group because I don’t live in Aurora and so I don’t have a cock in that fight.

Let me know when you organize the first meeting.
A former member
Post #: 1
I might be able to help you with that. I also live in Aurora, and someday I might want to have some chickens.
Sally
Krista
My2TwinsMom
Denver, CO
Post #: 244
Holy Moly, James, thank you for that, I appreciate you taking the time to explain all that..
I can see that it'll be time consuming and help will be greatly appreciated, shall I create a little gang of "chicken people" to see what we can scratch up? biggrin
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