Deer Park and Kettle Falls have recently been asked to change their zoning ordinances to allow backyard chickens within their city limits. After public meetings and planning commission deliberations, the city council of Deer Park chose last night to take no action to allow backyard chickens. A representative at city hall explained that the person who orginally requested the change had moved from the area, and there was not a strong contingent of city residents advocating for the change.
Kettle Falls, on the other hand, looks like they are on a path to allow up to five chickens and/or rabbits. Their Planning Commission is currently fine tuning a proposed ordinance. I was curious to hear that one element in the current proposal is that three legitimate complaints against your chickens would get them evicted. I'm guessing that will get revised before the final draft, but it reminds me of how suspicious people are of chickens. Imagine a city writing such a rule into a dog or cat ordinance. It would be a mutiny.
Every change to chicken ordinances that I'm aware of has originated with a single, reasoned letter to a city council. If you are interested in making changes in your city, regardless of size, a simple letter is the best place to start.
Unfortunately, things are a little more complicated in a jurisdiction like Spokane County. We've had meetings with council members and made our desire for changes known but, as far as I know, the 3 person council has yet to request for the Planning Commission to draw up a proposed change to the ordinance. It looks like we're going to have to raise some money and do some petitions. I'm eyeing the Spokane County Fair as a primary avenue to raise interest and support. Join up with our Facebook page, Spokane Area Chicken Ordinances, if you're interested in helping make changes in Spokane County.