Letter to the Editor: What the Cluck?

in Newport

The following letter to the editor was submitted by Newport resident Diana Henry.

When I was little, my father used to say when they couldn’t hear me playing and it was too quiet in the house: “Go tell Diana, whatever she’s doing, to STOP IT!”

The Newport Planning Commission has adopted that practice, apparently. Now that a block of mainstreet has left a gaping hole in our town center and tax revenues, with the ANC Bio building at a halt, they are apparently unaware of having any other fish to fry, than planning at a meeting on Tuesday at 7 to limit the number of chickens folks can have in Newport. As a friend, says: “What the Cluck?”

It’s not just limiting the number of chickens…oh, you might think, no roosters to wake up the neighbors / no disturbance-causing animals outside the limits of a property. I am sure there are already noise ordinances and public nuisance ordinances in Newport, but after all, the Planning Commission is looking for meaningful employment…

But no, they are planning to limit folks to 6 birds within the limits of a property THREE ACRES or less…Now I ask you, how many folks in Newport have a property of three acres or more? Is food self-sufficiency limited to only estate-holders with a safe in the basement?

If people are to build fencing high enough and sturdy enough to keep in fowl, it is too expensive for many home owners, certainly for apartment dwellers, to envision without perhaps a cooperative arrangement of friends or neighbors to share the burden of time and cost. Even if they are flying solo, let them have a little bit of that old-timey Vermont freedom and new-fangled food self-sufficiency. City Planners: What the Cluck!

Diana Henry
Prospect Street, Newport

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