Great news! I attended the meeting of the Oxford Township Planning Commission Thursday night. I didn’t expect great things after the beating I took at the Board of Trustees meeting earlier in the month. The Trustees wanted the planning commission to consider allowing chickens on residential parcels of 2.5 acres. Obviously, this accomplishes nothing and still locks out thousands of residents from the right to raise chickens.
Well apparently the planning commission agrees with me. They saw no purpose in that and, in fact, questioned the entire ordnance as it is written. The allowable number of “animal units” used in the current ordnance is based off recommendations from the Michigan Right to Farm Act, which is written for commercial farms. It has no bearing on the backyard chicken keeper or homesteader.
In fact, the member who did the most research on the act as well as court cases involving townships and backyard chicken keepers, informed the board that Oxford’s ordnance was not enforceable and needed a complete rewrite. Another board member was so passionate for my cause you’d think he was the one proposing it!
By the end of the night, the board decided to form a committee to make recommendation. The committee is formed of those two board members who made my case as well as yours truly. We’re looking for others who are interested in having a say as well. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to take part. Our official title is the “Urban Agricultural Initiative.” Sounds official, eh?
Now we still have to go back to the trustees and sell it to them once we’ve come up with our recommendation. But with the voice of two members of the planning board and a stack of data, we should be able to come back victorious. This is great news for Oxford and for anyone who shares a passion to be self-sufficient.
To add icing to the cake, my presentation to the Board of Trustees was on the front page of the Oxford Leader the same day that I met with the Planning Commission. Take a look at the article here: Oxford Leader Article: Are Chickens Coming to Oxford