Tuesday, January 19, 2010


[P]roposed new rules were crafted with enough flexibility to allow wary neighbors to block hens from moving in next door...[T]he measure would prohibit residents from keeping hens."

Raul Oswald, "Neighborhoods making noise over chicken proposal," Voice of the Hill, January 15, 2010.

You've got to visualize Capitol Hill backyards--many of the postage-stamp scale--to comprehend this sometimes fierce debate.

"I just don't think they're clean."

[P]eople can already buy fresh, locally produce eggs from Eastern Market..."

"I gasp at the thought that after chickens, we will be faced with a discussion of the benefits of backyard pigpens."

It's odd how self-help bubbles up where help is needed least.Self help is not without its costs. And these are expensive little backyards. This debate reveals class fissures related to generations, definitions of quality of life, freshness, and homestead prerogatives. I wonder whether zoning allows for all the squirrels -- and their constant taunting of the dogs.

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