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Chickens Make Their Return: Aug. 10 City Council Agenda Summary

How do you know what City Council will discuss this week? Check in here.

Below is a summary of what is due to occur at this week's Council meeting. Santee Patch regularly reports on Council meetings, so check back on Thursday for the lowdown on the meeting.

The next  begins Wed., August 10, 2011:

Consent Calendar:

• Allocation of $3,744 in donations from the to be used towards a drinking fountain at the .

Council Item:

• Councilman Jack Dale has decided to bring back the topic of keeping chickens within the city limits. This is the second time in two months the council will discuss the matter, and a stark turn around for Dale.

At the , brought the issue to the council, which voted 2-2 against delving further into the idea of changing . Dale was one of those no votes, but has since had a change of heart.

"Since then [the June 8 meeting] I have been learning more about chicken-keeping and what other cities are doing to permit chickens," he said.

Santee resident continued to put pressure on the subject with a , a Legalize Chickens in Santee Facebook page and . It is unclear if these measures influenced Councilman Dale in his decision to revisit the matter.

Dale is asking the city council to vote for staff to come back with recommendations for more open chicken approved zoning in the city.

• John Minto will present the semi-annual report.

If you want to publicly comment on any topic, fill out a speaker slip at the beginning of the meeting.

For more detailed information see the full council agenda in the media box or download here.

Sharon Maggie Sorensen August 11, 2011 at 04:34 AM
Give them a choice as to what animal to have? Yes. You will get less problems with chickens than you do with poorly raised dogs. When was the last time a chicken nearly killed a 70 year old grandmother or ate the fingers off a baby?
Jeni Reynolds August 11, 2011 at 05:21 PM
When this chicken conversation started months ago I thought it would be a dead issue in no-time so I simply did not participate. So congrats to you all for the hard work in getting this issue back to the city council. My gut reaction follows those of whom Joe called the “younger” group and my major concern would be for property value. Which is why I was so surprised to see that council newcomer Rob McNelis (and realtor) voted on the pro-chicken side. Which means, I think there might be more to the story than having chickens = lower property values. That said, unlike La Jolla who doesn’t have any imaging issues; Santee is working hard to redefine itself as a upcoming town. Better housing prices and more shops have helped to drawn in a younger more urban crowd. I know that my friends and I who have recently moved to town would NOT have purchased a home next to someone with chickens and at the same time wouldn’t have thought twice if our neighbor had a dog. It might not be fair, but the reality is that we simply cannot educate everyone on the benefits of owning chickens before they look at Santee homes. Meaning some folks will assume that chickens are noisy and smelly and a relic of the back-country.
Jeni Reynolds August 11, 2011 at 05:22 PM
(part two) Then there is the fairness issue of changing the ordinance and allowing those that might have moved to an area without chickens to be forced to live next to chickens. I think that is a valid point. I know, there is also the fairness issue of allowing choice to those that want chickens, but if that was an important issue for that family in the first place they would have moved to an area where they could have had chickens to begin with. My gut still leans towards no, but I’m going to be paying more attention to this issue to help educate myself on the pros and cons. It is clear that not everyone will be happy, but I'm sure there is a solution that will work for most.
Ken August 11, 2011 at 06:58 PM
It's funny how people who complaining the most about another animals don't clean up after there own or keep it quiet throughout the night. I admit when a chicken lays an egg they let you know but it's not all day and everyone knows that. Last knight at the city council meeting this was a personal attack on one family with chickens and not on the subject if the ordinance should change. They used city officials time as a bitch secession. One even trying to pity Councilman Rob because he's a reaIitor and it will be so hard to sell a house next to one with chicken. How about a neighbors loud barking dogs when you enter your yard. I had an offer on my house and they asked if they could keep the chickens. So that's just BS. The times determines how quick a house will sell in Southern California. Yes, there will be those who like them and those who don't the same with any pet. I invite city council to come see for themselves. A neighbor now and then will ask for an egg because they are so fresh. No one in the neighborhood has enough to supply the neighborhood. That was misinterpreted. These people also don't realize this is the future. Urban farming someday will be the only way families can survive and afford food. Those who don't get on board now will be hungry and climbing your fence to get a bite to eat. The world isn't the same and Washington is not going to take care of you. These people need to see the movie "The Road" and wake up. God Bless
Ken August 11, 2011 at 07:03 PM
Do you prefer barking dogs, squaking cats, Crows Crowing. you're just singling out one animal. Don't be childess and say the smell and flies. All animals smell even the human animal and if you don't clean up after anything flies will come.
Ken August 11, 2011 at 07:05 PM
Why, Santee always wanted to keep up with the big cities and more and more of them allow chickens, goats, etc. Its the time Jason. Should Santee outlaw motorcycles too because they are very loud.
Ken August 11, 2011 at 07:12 PM
Why do you think having chicken is worst than having a dog. So many residence leave their cats out at night and they don't care when its in your yard howling all night and fighting with other cats and digging up gardens. Why is this acceptable but not chickens? At least with chickens you get a meal
Ken August 11, 2011 at 07:18 PM
Sorry Mary, but chickens are almost programed. They go to sleep at dusk and wake up at dawn. So they will never be crowing at 2 or 3 in the morning. Mabe that was a crow. Not even a rooster will be up at 2 or 3 and I agree we should not allow roosters. So it should be know problem sleeping with your windows open. Goodnight.
Ken August 11, 2011 at 07:24 PM
Pat your out of touch with the world. These are the times, have you notice your food bill lately. Have you seen how the farmers makets are popping up all over. People are scared of factory farm food. Like it or not this is the way it will become. It doesn't matter what cities will say when people are hungry. The world is not as it was 30 years ago.
Ken August 11, 2011 at 07:37 PM
Pat, you know how many houses I avoided buying because when I walked in the backyard there neighbors dogs would jump at the fence and not stop barking until we left the yard. I would never and didn't buy a house with dogs next door. I also avoided neighbors with RV and cars pared in front yards. Is this all appropriate for suburan housing? Most people don't even notice when a neighbor has chickens. And Pat soda should be avoided at all cost it has no health benefit.
Ken August 11, 2011 at 07:44 PM
Doug I lived on a farm in Wisconsin we had over 100 chickens and they did not smell nor did their coop. You must of have been doing something wrong. We had milikg cows and pigs too and if taken care of properly you have no problems. Within reason. I wish dog and cat owners were within reason and would have more consideration for their neighbors. We must coexisit.
Ken August 11, 2011 at 07:50 PM
PAt! did you have a bad experience with a chicken as a child. Your right about the airport, but what about a neighbor who buys the house next to you and brings his loud all night barking dogs. Is that ok or any time you walk out on your patio they continuously bark. So what is different here and don't tell me they smell.
Ken August 11, 2011 at 07:54 PM
Pat, the young people buying homes now are the ones for urban farming. They are the movement behind this. This is thier future and a new way of life. Did you know how much your home owners insurance wil go up if they will even insure you if you have a poodle? That soft cuddly dog is deadly when it comes to trying to insure your home with one. Same with several breeds of dogs.
Ken August 11, 2011 at 08:12 PM
Joe, Santee is a family community with young couples settling down here. These are the people behind this movement of urban farming. We had the Starbucks era and now urban farming. I think its great to have a young city council that is open minded to this. Santee is thriving and who care what other towns may call us. I don't think I'm a hick but most hicks are nicer and more polite than the city slickers i've met. Framers markets are great I stop there every Wednesday but very expensive. I want to grow my own and raise my own. Telling us to move else where. Most people I know would like to live elsewhere. But we can't and that's why we have these city council meetings. Those against this will continure to say it downgrades the neighborhood. I think all the RV's on Santees streets is a bigger threat to our property valves and cars parked in front yards.
Motivated Santee Citizen August 11, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Ken, since you commented on my post against the chickens and you said that dogs are noiser I will say that I agree with you on that topic about dogs barking and how rude it is for the owners to let them disturb the peace of the neighbors and how I too would not buy a home if they had dogs or chickens next door, so it obviously has a negative effect on the ability for a homeowner to sell their property and property values as if there is more demand for a property than not the sales price will be higher due to multiple offers on the property. If people are staying away from the property for sale because of chickens and dogs then there is less chance for multiple offers to drive the price higher. I also agree with you about the rv issue around town and would like to know if you want to start a blog about it, or do you want me to? Several people are referencing the "hick" name regarding Santee's image. Having chickens in backyards, rv's in front yards, etc, etc is not helping erase this old trashy Santee versus the new and somewhat improved Santee image. Sorry to say it, but that is just the way it is. I like chickens and even have a friend that used to raise some on his property in Jamul on 5 acres, not a typical subdivision tract home size lot in Santee. I think Alan should just keep raising his chickens, and all is cool if his neighbors don't mind. As for the whole of Santee to have chicken coops in their backyards I have to side with no on this one.
Pat August 12, 2011 at 04:52 AM
Ken, that was me whom you said 'pitied' Councilman Rob. I resent you saying I used my chance to speak as a 'bitch session.' Or that my statement was 'B.S.' I referenced my good friend who has served both as an appraiser and a loan officer, and laid out the facts per her experience. Trying to say a potential buyer is going to be scared off from a home sale due to a barking dog as easily as is a chicken coop, I think is stretching it. Potential buyers expect that a neighbor could have dogs. They don't expect chickens. I am a 30-something professional, as are my friends. We are supposedly the demographic who are for all this 'urban agriculture.' Well, I tell you what: none of us would buy a home next to a backyard with chickens. Lastly Ken, you can argue the points, but don't make it personal with me.
Pat August 12, 2011 at 04:56 AM
Still after the fact, guys. People who have already purchased homes here expect their prospective neighbors ma have dogs. That is a social norm. However, after they purchase and live in their home, they don't expect their neighbors to start having chickens. That's after the fact, and therefore unfair.
Ken August 12, 2011 at 04:31 PM
pat, know buys a home expecting a neighbor to have or a new neighbor to move next door to have annoying dogs barking all the time. I bought mine know the neighbors on the left and righ of me had none.
Ken August 12, 2011 at 04:41 PM
No Pat it wasn't you I was talking about so its not personal but most opposing chickens at the council meeting were personally attacking Alan and his chickens. If you didn't notice that you must of been at a different meeting. Most young homeowners are thrilled with having chickens so I don't think that would change there mind on a home but it may with the older generation and loud barking dogs will scare everyone away.
just my opinion August 12, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Let me understand here. Councilman Jack Dale changed his mind after someone gave him some chickens. If he lives in the city limits wasn't our own councilman going against our zoning laws owning them????
Motivated Santee Citizen August 12, 2011 at 09:11 PM
Bingo CJ. I was wondering when someone would see that. All city councilmembers and the Mayor are required to live in Santee to be in their prospective positions. So that means that yes he is doing something illegal even though he is supposed to be the example for everyone to follow. kind of like when you have a cop live in your neighborhood and you see his or her family being the worst family in the neighborhood as though they are above the law. Like I said earlier, Santee is a place where anything goes and a lot of the laws and ordinances are very loosely if at all enforced. It's that "old Santee" way coming back. Santee needs to get with the times and quit screwing around if they want to attract "quality" people to live here and not a bunch of people that just move here so they can do anything they want. Is Santee ever going to be a "real" city to take seriously or is Santee going to continue to retain that "old Santee" image as a back country "hick" town? Get the barking dogs, chickens, goats, cows, rv's, boats and all of the other crap people have all over the place trashing the neighborhoods up out and clean this "city" up!
Smarty Pants August 12, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Isn't the whole issue of changing the zoning the result of neighbors complaints about chicken noise? And the fact that the City of Santee does not allow for chickens in the R2 zone? Which makes having Chickens a violation of City ordinance? I question why anyone who wishes to raise farm animals would live where the zoning is not suitable. R2 Zone does not afford the environment for raising farm animals. Homes are to close together. As for comparing house hold pets such as dogs to farm animals. We have laws for those Noisy dogs which can be educated to not bark, or they can be brought inside. Not likely with farm animals. Barking dogs can also bring the owner a hefty fine. if not controlled. So cats and dog wild birds and the other occasional vistor from the out back really don't count. Cat's and Dogs are family pets. Even if some get into mischief. But keeping illegally farm animals is a whole other can of worms. Trying to change that ordinance which I'm fairly sure was enacted by intelligent individuals, So a few can have farm animals seems self serving at best. I don't see it serving the community as a whole.
Rob McNelis August 12, 2011 at 10:07 PM
Well for the record, The "newcomer Rob McNelis" did not vote to allow chickens in Santee. I voted to have our staff fully study the pros and cons and then provide a report so that I can make a more educated decision instead of going with my knee jerk reaction of saying no.
Motivated Santee Citizen August 12, 2011 at 10:23 PM
Again I say; do we want the old Santee hick town image to stick or do we want a new revitalized city to take seriously image? I for one want the new image and want my property values to climb. To acomplish this we need to "clean up" the city, which has more than enough eyesores around with the RV mess on the streets and in the front yards of quite a few, but still the minority of houses around Santee. adding chicken coops to this mess will only further degrade Santee's image abd property values. If you are a respectful neighbor and have a barking dog issue, you can get one of those collars for the dog that shocks it when it barks. It is all about respect people. We all live in the same city, world, etc.
Jeni Reynolds August 12, 2011 at 11:21 PM
That makes total sense. That line was taken from the UT, sorry if that sounded rude. The UT must have mis-worded the facts, and I wasn't at the meeting so I wasn't sure what happened. Thanks for catching and correcting the statement. My only point was that there might be more to the story about property values diving into the pits if we allow chickens. I look forward to learning what the staff's study finds. My knee jerk reaction is the same as yours, to say no. But it is always good to learn the facts before making the decision final.
Smarty Pants August 12, 2011 at 11:54 PM
A lot of the out laying areas,,, Well even the rest of the City of Santee is occupied by a lot of active people and that includes RV's. I am amazed at the number of them here. But it speaks volumes about those who live in the City of Santee. Some are for desert weekend warriors while others for that one special vacation a year you have accumulated time for. To be able to go were no chickens live. Nice and quiet. Parked RV's are not to big an issue. They mostly sit dormant. But chickens are up at the crack of dawn. Every day the sun rises. Most RV'ers are pretty good people. Usually mindful of their neighbors. And willing to give a tour of their RV if asked. They love to about their RV's. You may even get beverage to go with the tour. I might buy a home next to an RV. But never if there is a chicken coop!
Jean September 01, 2011 at 03:36 PM
Did you follow Sacramento's chicken issue? $10 license fee per year plus $15 per chicken to defray the enforcement issues no doubt.
Motivated Santee Citizen September 01, 2011 at 08:56 PM
There would still be no enforcement in Santee even with a fee to offset it. The city would just pocket the money and disregard the citizens that are expecting enforcement.
Elliott Piper February 26, 2012 at 11:30 PM
I was glad to see that Santee approved residential chicken raising! We live in one of the only areas in Santee zoned for horses/farm animals and will be adding chickens. Ordinance 513 is pretty clear concerning locations and proximity to property lines, odors, etc. To the naysayers, I will make a prediction. If Obama is reelected, God help us, you will either be raising chickens or relying on your neighbor who does.
NotYourLady April 25, 2013 at 03:31 AM
Chicken's dont crow, roosters do. :)

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