Tuesday, April 16, 2013

urban farms and euclid

Euclid has gone to the birds or has it?
I received news about Euclid wanting to allow Urban Farms.  Is this a part of Agenda 21 or is it a good idea?  I know one thing - any law that allows more flexibility for the home owner and a ease of zoning laws seems to me a good idea.

Read what was sent to me then read my comments below.
Subject: Fw: Urban Farming Initiative in Euclid 

This came to us very recently. Please read it send a messhge to council to oppose it and forward it to other citizens.

Below is an email concerning Council's desire to implement urban (chicken) farming in the City of Euclid. I urge everyone to read it. If you agree that this is a good idea you don't have to do anything. Council has enough votes to pass it. If, on the other hand, you disagree with the idea of raising chickens in this city then I urge you to write your Council person (or the entire council). Their email addresses appear below. If you strongly disagree with chicken farming I urge you to attend the next Council meeting and express your opinion. Only if enough residents voice their objections will Council vote down this legislation.
Thank you for your time. 

From: "Jeffrey

I am writing to you to further express my opinion on urban farming in Euclid. I am totally against this idea - even as a test. This is being presented as a "progressive" piece of legislation. It is not. It is regressive. It's simply trying to turn the clock back to when Euclid was a farming community 100 + years ago. It is being presented as having a "sunset" of 1 year. If the history of Euclid legislation shows us anything it shows us that there is no such thing as a "sunset".  Garbage and lighting fees were only to be for 2 years (until they were made permanent). Shore's 5 year plan to be self sufficient will not happen and it is clear that this will be extended. Enacting this piece of legislation will make it a permanent program in Euclid. To be specific as to why I (and the many Euclid residents I have spoken with) are against this idea I offer the following…

1) Post farming Euclid's history was industrial. The many factories located here that supported the effort in World War 2 emitted who knows what into the atmosphere. These emissions settled in the soil throughout the city. Lead paint was used extensively in buildings and currently we have a freeway that bisects our city utilized by thousands of cars daily emitting exhaust fumes. These also settle in our soil. A study published by the Atlantic Monthly in October 2012 tested eggs laid by urban chickens in New York. They found high amounts of lead in the eggs. To be exact 115 PPB (parts per billion). At 15PPB the Center for Disease Control advises people to treat their tap water. This is an extremely high amount of lead that has been attributed to the factors I mention above. A woman in Portland ME. did a test on her eggs and found the same result. Eggs purchased at the store were lead free.

2) A Stanford study mentioned in this same report suggested little health differences between organic and conventional food.

3) Noise. Chickens can be very noisy. The fact that they were quiet on the day that Council visited a couple of coops doesn't change this fact. Yes, it was mentioned last night that dogs are also noisy. The difference is you can take a dog inside and shut it up whereas you cannot a chicken.

4) Predators. Chickens are fair game for coyotes, skunks, raccoons, rats, dogs, and other animals. It was mentioned last night that "predator proof" enclosures can be built. This may stop the predators from attacking the chickens but will not keep them from trying. These predators could endanger small pets and children if they come across them in a neighbors' yard..

5) Disease. There are many disease that are transferred between chickens and humans. These are only exasperated in tight living areas as we have in Euclid. One I mentioned last night was Histoplasmosis. It is not a rare disease. It is a respiratory ailment that is caused by inhalation of chicken feces. A dry, windy day could pick up these feces along with dirt and spray it around a neighborhood. Since this is preventable by not allowing chickens into this city will the city be responsible for any medical bills caused by an infection? How about medical bills and suffering caused by injuries sustained by children/ pets attacked by a predator stalking chickens?

6) Cost. There is a labor cost involved in maintaining this program and the city is now running at a minimum. Nuisance calls on chickens will go to the police dept. They in turn will contact animal control who will have to investigate. Or the calls will go straight to animal control. In either case I don't believe they need this additional burden. Housing inspectors will also have to investigate and aren't we short now? How would they add this additional duty when they have their hands full now?

Council needs to spend their time on issues that positively affect the quality of life in this city - not negatively. And urban farming only offers a positive experience for the few people who employ it and a negative experience for the vast majority of the city.

I am planning to send this email out wide with a request to email their Council person to express their opinions or to attend the next Council meeting and voice their opinions on this issue. 

Council needs to kill this legislation.


IF I may add my thoughts and if valid please pass them on.
Some things to ponder.  Dad told me growing up in the inner city and then Collinwood years ago some had small chicken coops.  Not a problem as those yards were as small as some in Euclid.

Another point to ponder.  NO one can say for certain if we are heading for fiscal doom.  All indicators point to it.  The Euro zone keeps showing signs of going belly up.  IF we do have another major depression this would at least give residents some options of feeding their family or bartering away the eggs for other necessities.   This is not solely based on fear but on history.

Lastly isn't it time we give the people some freedom to be the KING of their castle?  IF any house is seriously neglected or abandoned looking or deemed a nuisance property measures can be taken so I am sure these rules would apply with the chicken farms.

In short I like it and think it would make the city of Euclid more attractive for the younger generations who are bred on this go green movement to possibly move into the city.

Thank you for your time
Carey Masci

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