Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sustainability Commission

Sat in on the sustainability commission's meeting last Thursday evening. Pretty good attendance with 7 committee members there and 4 onlookers. The two major topics were a report on the Koppers wood treating plan cleanup from Kevin Beatty and a discussion of the proposed ordinance allowing city residents to keep chickens.

The cleanup continues to move along slowly. Apparently part of the reason for the slowdown is continual changes in rules and requirements from the EPA. Although the entire area covers about 10 acres in northeast Carbondale, the actual area requiring cleanup only covers about an acre, it is just spread in several locations over the property.

The proposed chicken ordinance would allow a maximum of six chickens per household for egg production only (no roosters and no raising chickens to slaughter for Sunday dinner). The committee based much of the ordinance on the current C'dale dog ordinance. Chickens have to have a license ($5 per chicken) and must stay on a leash when taken outside the back yard. Whoops, scratch that last part. They will probably have a leg band to identify licensed chickens. Chickens must stay confined to the back yard and the ordinance has specifics regarding location and construction of their coop, based on ordinances passed by other chicken friendly cities (Napierville IL and Columbia MO).

One point inserted into the ordinance after listening to community input is a provision that a dog that kills a loose chicken shall not be considered, for that reason alone, a dangerous or vicious dog. Still under discussion are regulations regarding the disposal of dead chickens, which, since people don't eat dogs, is not an issue covered under the dog ordinance.

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