It's Official! Wake Forest Commissioners Vote In New Ordinance to Allow Urban Chickens.
By David Bissette
WAKE FOREST, NC. - The Town of Wake Forest's Board of Commissioners voted tonight to approve the chicken ordinance amendment. In a 4 to 1 vote, Commissioners Chris Kaeberlein, Anne Hines, Frank Drake, and Margaret Stinnett all ruled to append the town ordinances with an urban chicken amendment. The amendment allows for the keeping of up to ten chickens inside the town limits, excluding roosters.
Dissenting vote Commissioner Pete Thibodeau voiced concerns that the ordinance amendment was not restrictive enough. His concerns were that people would house the birds in their front yards and that there were no provisions in the amendment for how the chickens were to be housed. "We could have chickens running around in the town's major streets." said Thibodeau.
Commissioner Drake countered each point, reminding Thibodeau that there were not provisions for the keeping of other pets like dogs and cats in the ordinances either.
The vote was taken after an open microphone discussion. Emily Cole addressed the board stating that she felt that the town's legal council proposal of five birds was too limited given the period of time that a chicken lays eggs verses it's lifespan. She then proposed that the amendment allow either ten or twelve birds. The assenting commissioners agreed to her proposal and increased the limit on urban chickens to ten during their vote.
Former California resident Jeff Boldizar shared with the board news of the Fair Oaks Chicken Festival. A suburb of Pasedena, Fair Oaks can be considered to be one of the chicken friendliest places in the US. Chickens are allowed to "free range" alongside humans on downtown streets and in city parks. While not advocating such a policy for Wake Forest, he did mention that he thought the trend towards urban agriculturalism would mark the town as a place where people would want to reside."I'm very excited about this vote," said David Bissette, owner of the only permitted chickens inside the town limits. "This really opens an opportunity for people to becomes more more familair with their food source. That is something that has been lacking in the American diet and way of life for over 50 years now."