One change is the Urban Agriculture License. This license is to be obtained by folks whose principal use of their property is operating market gardens, farms or community gardens. Folks who fall into this category have until July 26, 2014 to obtain their license. If you are unsure whether or not you fall into this category, please contact the City. The changes expand the allowance of urban agriculture to all zone districts and additionally allow for farmers markets in mixed-use zones.
The one I hear most talked about of course is what animals folks can now have on their property. Council has allowed for the number of chickens to go from the maximum of six, to now be determined by one’s property size. The restriction of roosters remains as well as the restrictions in slaughtering. This is principally for laying hens. The code changes now allow for duck hens (no drakes) and (2) dwarf or pygmy goats for milk production. Updates were also made on the beekeeping Ordinance to get it more aligned with current best practices.
Licenses and inspections through the Larimer County Humane Society are required before one can bring these critters onto their property. In the case of goats a class on goat husbandry as well as participation in a CSU study on Q fever as it relates to urban areas is also a requirement. Currently the class is under development and the City anticipates licenses will be issued starting mid-September, once all pre-requisites are met.
Attached here ( AGENDA-ITEM_JUL-16-2013_ITEM_31 (1) ) you can find all the information from the first reading through the current adoption of these changes July 16, 2013 that was issued to folks on the email list. I recommend reading all this information to understand not only how one acquires the necessary licenses, but to also understand the various requirements depending on what type of dwelling you live in, like for example obtaining letters from your neighbors indicating they have no objection to you raising poultry or goats next door. In addition, it is important to understand the concerns the City has relating to predators and potentials for disease.
Up next, Council has requested staff to draft regulations for the raising of farm animals in zone districts where they have currently been allowed and standards for hoop houses. Over the next few months these regulations will be developed and their will be an opportunity for public input. This is a great chance to provide your input into how urban agriculture will evolve in the City of Fort Collins. If your interested in being in the loop about this topic and any upcoming proposed changes, you can contact Senior Environmental Planner Lindsay Ex at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about licensing or raising goats in the City you can contact the Larimer County Humane Society at 970-226-3647.
And for all of you excited about being able to pursue some backyard homesteading, welcome and farm on!