Letters to the Editor

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 10:32am


Crying fowl over chicken vote

On Aug. 27 the Metro Council voted against a most reasonable and restrictive proposal to allow between 2-6 chickens (depending on lot size and proximity to neighbors) in the backyards of Metro residents. This proposal would have allowed chicken owners to raise chickens in a responsible way to provide for themselves while respecting their neighbors.

This was a stunning loss as it went against the incredible support of the Planning Commission and the support that was represented by the majority of the public at the meeting.

On Tuesday, Sept. 15 the Burch bill will go before Metro Council for it¹s third reading and subsequent vote. This bill will make owning urban chickens, however responsibly, illegal in the city of Nashville (Urban Services District).

Nashville resident Tucker Rojas said in an e-mail to Kristine LaLonde (the co-sponser of the Holleman-LaLonde Bill) “I feel the tone and goals of the Burch bill are divisive and not in line with the direction the citizens of this great city wish to see Nashville evolve. I feel our goal should be a compromise bill; one that can address the concerns of all parties. Certainly a compromise is within our reach.”

This compromise CANNOT be met if the Burch bill is passed this Tuesday evening. The community dialogue would be silenced and the opportunity of participating in the nationwide urban chicken movement would be eliminated.

There are so many valid reasons to support the urban chicken movement — one that has found support from New York to Chicago; from Austin to Asheville. Chickens provide the opportunity for our increasingly obese youth to understand animal husbandry, to participate in our food source and the joy that is associated with a symbiotic relationship. They fertilize our soil and provide a natural way to reduce insects. They eat our table scraps that could easily be sent to a landfill. Most importantly, for thousands of years they have provided us with a food source.

While it is a privilege to be a chicken owner in the city of Nashville it is also becoming more and more a necessity for many homeowners. While families are losing their financial foothold raising chickens provides an inexpensive protein that can be relied upon when family incomes cannot. This is not only about chickens, it is about people who are working to create a sustainable environment in Nashville for the community AND for themselves.

The 20 Council members that voted against the backyard chicken were voting against a family’s right to provide sustenance for themselves.

The Rojas family, 37212

Send comments via e-mail to letters@nashvillecitypaper.com




77 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 9/15/09 at 9:20

OK, It's definite...I've crossed over to the "Twlight Zone". Prior to this LTE, I thought grappling with "Chief" and Bend_O" was an exercise in futility and insanity. Now this. "Animal husbandry"? I thought 'House" was in charge of that division? He's been replaced? This LTE writer wants chickens raised in our backyards, "as it has been done for thousands of years"? Chickens need roosters...roosters "crow" at 3:00am. Then again at 5:00am. Then again at 7:00am. Hello. Anybody home?

By: brrrrk on 9/15/09 at 9:27

Thank goodness this failed. If there's anything I've learned about Nashvillians over the past 20 odd years is that there are several definitions of the word "responsible" and that one persons "responsible owner" is another persons "guy with the damned chickens running around in his yard". On top of that, the last thing our Animal Control people need to have added to their list is chickens. They have enough problems dealing with the number of dogs and cats running around loose as a result of "responsible" owners. And by the way, if you don't think chickens can't be a problem in a community ask Key West... they've been dealing with feral chicken problems for years.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 9:32

OK, the problem with many folks who live in 37212 is that they refuse to see how this would affect anyone outside of their own little bubble.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 9:32

Has anyone else seen the bumper sticker that says "37212 It's a Lifestyle"?

By: house_of_pain on 9/15/09 at 9:33

Yes, Blanket. I lived in that zip code for 2 years. Absolutely hated those stickers.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 9:39

a bit self absorbed.....i lived in that zip code for a while and it's nice and all - they just have no concept of nashville outside of the vanderbilt neighborhood.

By: house_of_pain on 9/15/09 at 9:39

There is also an insane woman that lives on Faifax near Natchez Trace that would stand in the street next to the sidewalk, holding a big, cardboard sign telling everyone to "SLOW DOWN!!!". She had the nerve to place it in the middle of the street using a "borrowed" orange cone from nearby contractors.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 9:40

OMG - yes, i remember her!

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 9:42

did you ever run into the black midget that would go around to the bars and pickpocket and beg for cigarettes? he lived over in the projects off 12th.

By: house_of_pain on 9/15/09 at 9:47

Never saw him. I had a neighbor's son come to my place and tell me I needed to take my dog to meet his mom so that my dog wouldn't bark at her while I had her out in my yard. "My mother doesn't like being barked at when she's in her own yard!"

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 9:51

wtf. very self absorbed, i tell ya.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 9:51

hey, wait a minute. was the kid's mom hitting on you?

By: brrrrk on 9/15/09 at 9:58

Blanketnazi2 said

"OK, the problem with many folks who live in 37212 is that they refuse to see how this would affect anyone outside of their own little bubble."

Frankly I think that's a statewide problem.... It's called empathy. And God forbid we have any of that stuff around here.

By: Loner on 9/15/09 at 9:58

Guns in the parks and bars, but no hen-house next to yer out-house? It's like an episode of Hee Haw. I think that chickens in the dooryard adds to the country flavor and Nashville is the Country Music Mecca.

Cows would be more Western than chickens are, but that's okay, the Western part of Country and Western Music has been deleted.

Chickens and Country Music go together, in the same way that bats go with Gothic Music.

I want an "Urban Chicken Movement" T-shirt if they are available.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 9:58

good point, brrrk. nimby.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 9:59

heee heee heee haw haw haw

By: house_of_pain on 9/15/09 at 10:00

Noooooo. She was old and cranky. I came home one day and caught her parked sideways in my driveway, unloading dirt into her yard from her trunk. That was a definite WTF moment.

By: dargent7 on 9/15/09 at 10:00

Hey, you "chicken people" need to move to Hawaii. That's the #1 issue there...freakin' chickens. Is everyone all hopped up on Ambien that you cannot hear a rooster at 4:00am? Barking dogs is bad enough. Now, these idiots want "animal husbandry"?

By: brrrrk on 9/15/09 at 10:02

If chickens were allowed, it would only be a matter of time before animal control would have to go out on a call because someone was attacked by a chicken. And it you think I'm kidding, then you've never had to deal with an aggressive rooster.

By: dargent7 on 9/15/09 at 10:07

I live in 37209. I thought the "nuts" were saying we had a coyote problem? Now, we want chickens? Won't the coyote's eat them, tare-tare? So, we want to attract predators to our yards where they can eat chickens and maybe Morris? You Southerners sure think things out before hand. Kinda like that (projected) 6 month war in Iraq.

By: MamaG on 9/15/09 at 10:35

Darge, that is a piss-poor analogy. And, since you are a southerner by CHOICE, rather than birth, quit knocking us. or go back the F where you came from.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 10:37

so house, you're saying that she was unloading the junk in her trunk?

By: slacker on 9/15/09 at 10:38

As past president of The National Rubber Chicken Movement, I can report there is much friction, with The Urban Chicken Movement.

By: MamaG on 9/15/09 at 10:43

When I grew up, we had chickens, but we lived in Madison, sub-urban district.

By: Kosh III on 9/15/09 at 10:49

Raising a few chickens sounds great but in practice it won't be. Too many irresponsible folks will not take care of them let them run loose thru the neighborhood(till the roving cats get them) the smell will be prevalent etc etc

By: dargent7 on 9/15/09 at 10:50

MamaG: Good point. However, it seems to me, that you idiots just passed two bills allowing GUNS in bars/ restaurants and parks. "Expressin' your 2nd Amendment rights". Now, chickens in the back yard of homes is the topic for discussion and legislation? You're right. I'm the asshole. Want to listen to a rooster at 4:00am? Michigan is no walk in the park, but the crap you people are dealing with make us up north look like geniuses.

By: MamaG on 9/15/09 at 10:54

You mean US idiots, darge. Count yourself among us if you're going to live here.

By: house_of_pain on 9/15/09 at 10:55

There can't possibly be anyone left in Michigan. They all moved here.
There is no way I would trust most of my neighbors with chickens.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 11:04

yeah, folks from detroit aren't crazy:


By: house_of_pain on 9/15/09 at 11:09

But he'll make it worth your while, Blanket...
I wonder if that ad was placed by the Maytag Man?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 11:13

yeah, that was the scariest part - lol!

By: slacker on 9/15/09 at 11:14

dargent could have easily placed that ad, whilst visiting the folks in motor city.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 11:15

wow, slacker! LOL!

By: house_of_pain on 9/15/09 at 11:16

Dryer prostitution...
"hey big boy, wanna go for a spin?"

By: brrrrk on 9/15/09 at 11:18


Sometimes it takes a trip elsewhere to realize just how backwards this state is. I just returned from a yearly trip to Colorado and with every trip I notice little things.

First thing, I never walked into a bathroom in Colorado, even one in the most backwoods hamlet, that looked like a litter of pigs had just been in it. Can't say the same thing about Tennessee.

Second thing, people in Colorado actually take pride in what they do regardless of the job. Every thing is clean and tidy. This is especially apparent in the fast food industry. When I return, going into a fast food place is a difficult task. I feel like I'm taking my life into my hands.

And thirdly, I have a German last name (really not that difficult of a last name) and I've never had to correct someone in Colorado for mispronouncing my name. I can count on one hand the number of times in the past 20 years that someone in Tennessee has actually pronounced my last name correctly. Now I know that's sort of a picky thing but I think that's really indicative of how uneducated Tennesseans are.

And yes MamaG, the first chance I get I'm out of this back water state.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 11:21

so now laundromat attendants will be considered pimps?

hey, there's a job over on Murfreesboro Road....

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 11:22

brrrk, i have to agree with the level of apathy and really lowering the bar. i have a neighbor who duct tapes his screens this spring because he was too lazy to screw them on.

By: MamaG on 9/15/09 at 11:23

I guess we are just a melting pot in Middle Tennessee. Everyone seems to flock here, then belittle every thing about it while living here.

A redneck by any other name is still a redneck. North, south, makes no difference where they come from and believe me, they are EVERYWHERE.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 11:24

very true, Mama.

By: slacker on 9/15/09 at 11:26

Hey brrrrk, you gotta give us retards a little slack, Goebbels ain't that easy to pronounce.

By: brrrrk on 9/15/09 at 11:35

slacker said

"Hey brrrrk, you gotta give us retards a little slack, Goebbels ain't that easy to pronounce."

Nice... Did you think of that while you're sittin' there drinkin' your Budweiser? :-)

By: slacker on 9/15/09 at 11:43

brrrk, no Bud, Coor's from Colorado.

By: dargent7 on 9/15/09 at 11:44

Guy's & Girls...Al Gore LOST the state of Tenn., and therefore the National election in 2000. You (we) therefore, got GW Bush...a Chimp. But, in 2004, Tenn. elected him again. Now, the country is in foreclosure, the people vote on pressing issues like "guns in bars" and now we're talkin' chickens. Personally, I think it's all a joke.
I'm suprised God Himself doesn't just pull the plug on this crap. I mean, who needs it? There HAS to be more intelligent life elsewhere. If this is it, earth, what a great exercise in waste.

By: house_of_pain on 9/15/09 at 12:21

I've spent some time in CO, myself. The areas where they get rich tourists are uber nice.
There are places around downtown Denver, Aurora, and Colo. Springs that are seriously nasty.

By: house_of_pain on 9/15/09 at 12:50

Anyone else notice all the ads for DIY chicken coops?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 12:57

LOL! yeah, but how do you like the DIY labotomy ads.

By: house_of_pain on 9/15/09 at 1:04

I would not be opposed to my neighbors getting lobotomies...

By: Blanketnazi2 on 9/15/09 at 1:06

would you volunteer to do the procedure?

By: house_of_pain on 9/15/09 at 1:09

I've been trained in micro-surgery. No problem.
I could fashion an attachment for my drill.

By: house_of_pain on 9/15/09 at 1:20

Would you be willing to count your neighbor's chickens?
After they hatch, of course.