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Backyard Chickens Alliance Ruffles Feathers

The Pond family requested a zoning variance to keep chickens in the back yard of their Northeast Cobb home. The Board of Zoning Appeals voted 5-0 against that variance on Sept. 14, but the Pond's fight continues.

One of the hottest topics on Northeast Cobb Patch has been the story of the Pond family’s in the back yard. The Ponds requested a zoning variance from a 1972 ordinance banning livestock on lots smaller than 2 acres. The Board of Zoning Appeals voted 5-0 against that variance on Sept 14. The Ponds' responded by forming The Backyard Chickens Alliance of Cobb County with the goal to change the zoning ordinance that essentially outlaws backyard chickens in Cobb County.

By Joseph Pond

The Backyard Chickens Alliance of Cobb County believe that it is the right of every citizen to be able to own backyard chickens whether or not they choose to exercise that right.

Here are a few of the facts presented at the last meeting:

Fact: Chickens are Poultry, and Poultry are not Livestock, at least according to the State of Georgia and Cobb County. The two have always been separated in the eyes of the law. The Cobb County Code, since 1972, has stated ‘Livestock and Poultry.'

Fact: Changing the code as we propose will not affect the people in area with Home Owner Associations (HOA’s). These people are protected by their covenants. This change is for those us who choose to live in neighborhoods without HOA’s. They have the rights to live as they choose and we should also have the rights to live as we choose.

Fact: In 1972 when the Cobb County Code was enacted, the population of Cobb County was just under 200,000. Currently, the population stands at just under 700,000. Cobb County has not stretched to accommodate these people. The lot sizes got smaller. While a two acre lot was probably common in 1972, and the County does not have a statistically breakdown of the lot sizes from 1972, currently only 3 percent of residential property in Cobb is zoned two acres. Over half of the residential property in Cobb is zoned one half acre or less. The law is antiquated.

Fact: The city of Atlanta allows a person to have twenty-five chickens, and Atlanta is doing just fine. Chickens have not adversely affected Buckhead or Virginia Highlands; those areas are thriving. And so will Vinings and East Cobb. Smyrna is also doing just fine with Backyard Chickens; and so will the rest of Cobb County when it is given the chance.

Fact: The majority of people in Cobb County do not want chickens in their backyards. However, the majority of people in Cobb County do want to retain their personal property rights. They want to decide what they can do and cannot do. They want to be able to feed their families as they choose, be it from their backyard or the grocery store.

We ask that you look through our 'Case For Backyard Chickens in Cobb County' (attached) and support our efforts.

For more information, visit The Backyard Chickens Alliance of Cobb County website.

Do you support the right to have backyard chickens? Share your thoughts in the Comment Box below, or vote in the poll.

Ken Cook November 03, 2011 at 02:47 PM
This is about an issue much deeper than just "backyard chickens". This is about rights. 2014 is not too far away to start thinking about leaders who believe in property rights especially when they are for the good of the American family. Eliminating "poultry" thus allowing chickens can calm a lot of people who are ready to continue with this effort. A wise man would tell the BoC to choose their battles wisely and carefully. This isn't about chickens. Chickens are a perk of what is really needed for positive change in Cobb.
Joan Shore November 04, 2011 at 01:04 AM
It is very much about our freedoms!! We buy land, pay taxes, and they tell us we cannot provide healthy food for our famiies in gardens, chickens, etc.
Vicki Hammond November 04, 2011 at 10:37 PM
Change needs to come to Cobb...from the right to keep backyard chickens to the wrong of being able to abandon your pets at animal control for any reason. Change begins with the Commissioners and filters downward. We the people, choose the County Commissioners let's make sure the ones that are voted in next time have the minds of the people and not the mindset of yesteryear. Shame on you Commissioners for placing Cobb County amongst the tail feathers once again. Cobb needs a new and younger Board...not necessarily in years, but in vision. I say out with the old and in with the new...

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