Last fall, Councimember Tommy Wells introduced legislation that would allow residents to raise chickens. DCist offers a good explanation on how the legislation would work: “Under the proposal, you’d have to get nearly all of your neighbors to consent before you could legally keep chickens in your backyard, which would be awfully tricky for some people, and you couldn’t have a rooster, only hens. Now we’ll just have to wait and see whether the rest of the Council are too chicken to go along.”

Chickens on every stoop? Not quite. If the Hill East listserv is any indication, getting residents to agree on the issue seems impossible.  After much clucking, the Hill East listserv has had it with even debating the subject. Today at 1 p.m., “Patrick” writes:

“I think the on-going discussion on this List about this topic for the last number of days indicates that there is a significant amount of opposition to changing the current DC rules and ordanances for urban chickens.

The proponents of this change have tested the waters. It has created a considerable amount of debate, but it is apparent that the majority of residents don’t want chickens in their back yards.

Is that not enough to encourage the proponents to be good neighbors and drop the issue or is it about inflicting the desires on the few onto everyone else?”

“Everett” thinks Patrick should stop counting his chickens before they hatch. The debate is far from settled:

“I would agree in every way with this post, except that I think the length of this “debate” indicates a significant amount of support for changing the current DC regulations to permit urban chicken husbandry. Moreover, I think this debate has really made clear that while a majority of residents may not want to personally keep chickens, most would certainly support a change in regulations that would permit their neighbors to do so. Also, I think this debate has really highlighted the fact that most people in Newhilleast prefer Sanka over Nescafe.”

The debate did seem far from settled. Earlier in the day, “Greg” wrote:

“‘You Can’t handle the truth’ Colonel Nathan Jessep

I am still awaiting on an answer to the question who in the pro chicken camp would have them on the properties in DC that require no amendment to the law from the council. That is the $2+ million dollar propreties in Upper NW with plenty of land. Not One person has said “YES”. So I will stick with the Social Misfits label.”

Everett also had chimed in:

“So, in other words, you’re asking the chicken husbandry supporters on this listserve, a listserve that is populated by people who live in Newhilleast in ~$500K houses on 750 sq. ft. lots, whether, if they lived in far upper northwest in $2 million houses on 1+ acre lots, they would keep chickens? And this and the price of a dashiki in Uganda have what bearing on our support for the amendment to DCMR 24-900?

Oh right. Nothing.

Cheers! Everett @16th & D St. SE

P.S. If I were to live in far upper Northwest on a 1+ acre lot, I would not keep chickens. Rather, I would be militating for a change to Chapter 24 of the DCMR to permit me to keep a small herd of guanacos from which I would gather hair to spin into yarn and knit myself a very cozy faux Slanket.”