I just got home from attending the Wake Forest Board of Commissioner's work session this evening, and left the meeting a little disappointed.
At their last meeting, two weeks ago, the Commissioners asked some staffers to work on drafting an amended ordinance to be presented at this work session for review and consideration for a public hearing. Apparently the duty was delegated to Bill Summers, one of the town planners, who is in charge of issuing the livestock permits currently. He very simply stated, after snickering a little bit about how little he knew of the issue, that he suggested that the simplest change would be to amend the current ordinance to omit hens numbering fewer than five (5). In other words, you would not need a permit from the town to keep 5 or less hens in the town limits. If you wanted more than 5, you would need to submit to the current permitting process for livestock.
Now... this is a step forward... keeping hens would be allowed without a permit - that's great! But in my opinion the number 5 is too low! I had suggested that they allow 20 because of the diminished egg production once the animal gets to a certain age.... this guy wasn't taking that into consideration at all. I wonder if he's read the information I put together for the Commissioners... maybe I should send it to him...
Anyway - that's basically what transpired about chickens at the meeting tonight. I stayed to the end, and spoke with one of the Commissioners, Chris Kaeberlein, who also would like to see the number a little bit higher. He suggested 10. Really, that would be better, but larger families would still be out of luck if it were capped at that number. I am emailing all of the Commissioners tonight about the issue... and I hope they'll support a higher number when the time to vote comes around.
The Wake Weekly will be doing a story about the meeting later this week (Thursday) and I wouldn't be surprised to see something about it in the Wake Forest Gazette too. I just hope all of our local supporters will come out on September 16th to show that they want this ordinance changed with a reasonable amount of hens allowed.