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Hens may come home to roost

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Placer County Planning Department is proposing a zoning amendment to allow three hens (no roosters, hen peacocks or guinea hens) in residential single-family neighborhoods with an Administrative Review Permit (ARP). We could approve this proposal if a text amendment to the county’s “animal raising and keeping” ordinance is also put forth to address these issues: prohibition on slaughtering on-site, hen enclosure for safety from ground and aerial predators, enclosures prohibited in front yards, notification of adjoining properties during the ARP process and the activation of the codified “Animal Advisory Group” which appears to be a hearing body for animal disputes that is currently dormant. In addition, input from Animal Control, the Animal Services Advisory Committee, 4-H and others should be sought before the amended text is finalized. It is obvious that a myopic focus on this as a “zoning” issue doesn’t acknowledge the many agencies, laws and programs potentially affected by this deceptively simple zoning change. Your Municipal Area Council is looking for input from residents. Please take a minute to send your comments. Contact information along with the ordinance proposal can be found at: www.Humane SocietySierraFoothills.org/PlacerCountyHenOrdinance.htm Rosemary Frieborn, R.V.T., humane officer, Humane Society of the Sierra Foothills, Newcastle