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Cambridge Zoning Meeting to Determine the Legality of Backyard Chickens

  • Feb 11, 2010 · 7:30 PM

Cambridge Zoning Meeting to Determine the Legality of Backyard Chickens
Thursday, February 11th
7:30pm
Central Square Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue,

There will be a hearing to determine the legality of having chickens and ducks in Cambridge. Up to this point there has been a "thin gray line" and the animals have been allowed because no one complained. Late last year a group of neighbors complained about chickens and ducks at 220 Putnam and so the legality of issue is being raised with the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Here's a link to a website about the 220 Putnam animals (www.savetheducks.org) and a petition to change/modify the zoning to allow chickens and ducks in the city. If you care about people responsibly raising chickens in an urban environment, please consider signing the petition or even attending the BZA meeting on Thursday evening.

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  • sarah

    Anyone know if there has been follow up with an ordinance (was that the right term?)?

    February 26, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    The board decided against the chickens in this particular situation, based on the technicalites of the situation. They seemed sympathetic, however, and suggested other avenues for addressing the need for further discussion and legislation regarding the keeping of urban chickens. Great camaraderie amongst the crowd!

    February 12, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    I was really glad that I went to the meeting. It was democracy at its best (and messiest). I went to the meeting feeling very strongly that the Zoning Board should approve keeping backyard chickens and left feeling more divided. I think I agree with the point that was made about this not necessarily being a decision that should be made based on zoning issues and that it would be better to have the 1943 ordinance against keeping chickens overturned via the City Council. Hearing the perspectives of the neighbors who have been negatively effected by living in close contact with ducks that have not been properly maintained reminded me of similar experiences with irresponsible neighbors and, while I still want people to have the option of having chickens, I think it's something that probably needs to be regulated. So I'm hopeful that Henrietta Davis and Craig Kelly with follow through with moving this through the City Council.

    February 12, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    I wasn't able to stay until the end. I left at 10:00 and it looked as if there would still be quite a while before the zoning board would begin any discussion among its five members. I'll have to wait until tomorrow to learn the outcome. Many people spoke passionately both for and against granting an appeal. I think it looks pretty unlikely. The question being whether keeping chickens is a "customary accessory" use of one's property. I think hen keeping is an issue that the City Council will need to address in the near future. We'll want our voices heard in that debate.

    February 11, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    February 11, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks for the notice. I've signed the petition but can't be there. Within the last year I believe I read something from the American Planning Association about how many towns are adopting chicken friendly codes. I can't believe Cambridge would consider not allowing chickens. Thanks for keeping me updated!

    February 10, 2010

  • Lisa F.

    I can't be there but we have had a run of successfully getting backyard chicken ordinances in place up here in Maine cities. Some great resources are available here: http://www.sailzora.com/chickens.htm

    February 9, 2010

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