I had already delivered letters to our two adjacent neighbours explaining what we hope to do, which at this point, is to amend the zoning bylaws to allow for the keeping of chickens and small goats for personal use. I included a fact sheet for each chickens and goats, and gave them four ways to get in touch with me should they have any questions or concerns (and asked them to please do so). The night of the public meeting was one week after my delivery of the letters, and there had been no response, so we decided to move ahead with the application. This was just in time, since at the meeting, the planning officer told me that planning board would be meeting today and that if I wanted to have the matter tabled, I would need to get my application in by Friday at noon.
|An excerpt from my planning board letter|
No problem! All I needed to start the ball rolling at this point was a letter of intent, so I whipped one up right away. The planning officer also told me that were I able to find an example of zoning bylaws that permit the keeping of small livestock which could be easily inserted into our existing bylaws, that would make it easier if this should be voted to go ahead. A lot of the bylaws that I came upon were more related to animal control, but Seattle's bylaws deal with zoning and they seemed very reasonable to me, with parameters that would work well for the property owner and for the municipality. I tidied up the look of them in a Word document, included the link to the bylaws, the document including the section relevant to our application, a pdf explaining the bylaws that could be useful in advising the public, and sent it all off--by email last Thursday, and dropping off a paper copy Friday morning.
Today the planning board met and the application will have hopefully been tabled. Before any decisions can be made, we will have to have a public meeting. I prefer this way, as it gives those with questions an opportunity to ask them and I would like to be able to answer in more detail. I don't know when I'll hear what the preliminary response to the application was like, but I will contact the planning officer in a few days if I don't hear anything.
I'm so hopeful that this will work out. Please keep this in your thoughts, as it is a very important process for me!