Chickens belong in rural areas

Editor:

This letter is being written in support of our two Cortez city council members who voted against the adoption of Ordinance Number 1175, Series 2013, an ordinance amending Chapter 5 of the Cortez City Code to allow for the keeping of domesticated chickens within the city of Cortez. We commend you for representing those citizens who have invested their time and resources in establishing a property they can not only be proud of but that will sustain its value in the years to come. One must consider the long-range consequences this amendment would have on the community. Lowering of property values is foremost in an already depressed area. Potential businesses and professional people contemplating a relocation to this area can certainly be influenced by city zoning (or lack thereof). It seems somewhat ironic that there is a current "beautification" project being launched in tandem with the passage of this ordinance. One step forward, one step back.

Utmost respect and support should be given to those individuals who choose to have poultry in rural areas. The majority of rural properties are located strategically away from infringing upon the right of neighbors. Our grandparents raised chickens for years on their rural property, and we are quite familiar with the inability to keep them contained, the constant attraction of predatory species, and the ever-present stench.

The article in the March 16 Journal indicated the topic had been discussed for months with little or no opposition. It makes one wonder if the citizens of Cortez thought this was beyond reason and would never come to fruition. Little did we know. It was stated in the minutes of the Feb. 16 council meeting that a survey was conducted at Heart and Soul block parties with 42 respondents in favor and 11 opposed. This seems hardly a fair representation of the 8,481 population (2011 Census) in the city proper. Perhaps a more intensive survey should be considered before moving forward.

John and Deanna Bond

Cortez