Attend Appleton City Council This Wednesday July 18th

City Council meeting is this Wednesday, July 18, 7pm on the 6th floor of City Hall.

Please all attend, if able. Vote may or may not happen. Also, I’d encourage y’all to speak on behalf of chickens, as there will likely be some chicken detractors speaking.

If you are willing to speak:

  • Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to sign up to speak.
  • You’ll need to state your name and address (Appleton).
  • From there, it could be as simple as saying you support urban chickens, and you encourage city council to do the same.
  • Keep any additional comments fact-based and respectful (remember there are good people on both sides of this issue, as well as in the middle, but not everyone has all the facts).

Hope to see all you chicken supporters there! Thanks to everyone!!!

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Vote From the Appleton Health Board!

An update on last Thursday morning’s Health Board mtg:

  • Two amendments were made to the ordinance/rules & reg’s: to remove the neighbor approval requirement (3 to 2 vote), and to set a minimum of 3 sq feet/bird for the coop (5 to 0 vote). Both of these amendments are supported by City Peeps leadership team.
  • The amended Ordinance and Rules & Regulations passed by a 4 to 1 vote, which means that this goes to Common Council next.

The vast majority of speakers last Thursday were chicken supporters. The concerns expressed today were much more reality-based, and much less fear-based, which is a good thing. The major concerns shared by Health Board were:

  • Impact on city staff workload
  • How to deal with the “bad apples”
  • Equity based on lot size/set-back requirements

These are all concerns that City Peeps share with City Staff, and with people on both sides of the chicken issue. Reality-based concerns can actually be dealt with and solved.

These concerns in more detail…

Impact on city staff workload: city staff is already stretched, whether it be Health Department, Building Inspections, Police. It was estimated that each license holder will add 3 hours of workload to Health Dept and 1 hour to Building Inspections. Police workload additions would most-likely be case-by-case and related to a few bad apples who are irresponsible in chicken raising. Health Board was estimating there would be 100 licenses sought in Appleton, which would equate to 300 extra work hours for Health, and 100 extra hours for Inspections. We believe that number is far larger than reality. Last year Madison had approx 100 licenses, and Green Bay had 12-15. In the coming week, we’ll be doing more research so that we can offer a best-guess estimate as to the number of license holders Appleton will likely see.

Dealing with “bad apples”: after the mtg this morning, 4 Peeps Leadership folks met briefly with Cathy Spears (the lone “no vote”), and we may have stumbled upon another idea that would accomplish what the neighbor approval requirement was trying to do (eliminate the people who will not responsibility raise chickens), while protecting the responsible chicken owners from unjust veto power by neighbors. Dealing proactively with the “bad apples” is in City Peeps best interest, and it also helps limit city staff workload issues & headaches. We’ll be researching this idea prior to the City Council meeting next Wednesday.

More details as they become available!