So last week I went to a little talk that the lovely GrowBots people were putting together, complete with some delicious snax and a carrot cake from the Rogue Apron crew. (I might have had two pieces of that cake!) During the discussion afterwards, a local farming guru happened to mention two little bits of information I didn’t know.
1. That a fellow gardener had been convicted of the crime of selling his vegetables
and 2. That it was illegal for him to keep chickens in his part of the county.
I will talk more about the first part later this week, but for the second part I was shocked. I live in the city limits, where it’s legal for me to keep 2 dozen hens, so to hear that my county prohibits them elsewhere was mind-bending. In researching the laws, I came across this post on a local chicken-keeper’s messageboard: (this is mostly posted for locals)
“Support GA House Bill 842
It’s time to stand up for our property rights! This could be the most important piece of legislation to come our way in years regarding the keeping of chickens, goats, and rabbits, as well as growing our own food!
House Bill 842, Georgia’s Right to Grow, or “Chicken Coop” bill will receive its first hearing. This is a subcommittee hearing, but it’s the first step toward getting this bill to the floor of the house, and ultimately, into the hands of the Governor. If passed, this bill would supersede any local law or ordinance that prohibits the keeping of chickens, goats, and rabbits, or having a vegetable garden.”
If you’re local and you care about urban sustainability, gardening, or just like fresh, cruelty-free eggs, please take a moment to read that bill and contact your congresscritter about it. Thank you.
In the interim, it does appear that Dekalb county code is currently being re-written to allow a few backyard hens, and it’s about time.