A bill has passed the Georgia subcommittee and committee and now may die until next year unless it passes through the Rules Committee by Thursday. Georgia folks, will you please contact your representative and the chairman of the Rules Committee, Representative Bill Hembree, and urge them to get this bill to the floor for a vote? (You can contact other Rules Committee members here.)
So what is this bill? House Bill 842, nicknamed the Right to Grow Crops, aka the Chicken Coop Bill, would allow Georgians to grow crops and raise small animals on private property provided it is for consumption (not commercial purposes). This would override any local laws limiting such rights (though neighborhood CCRs restricting these rights would remain). In short: I COULD HAVE PET HENS AGAIN. And so could you!
I have already written my representative, as well as the representatives on the previous committees. And today I wrote Representative Hembree. This is my letter–feel free to use bits of it to make your own case.
Dear Representative Hembree:
Please use your authority and influence as chairman of the Rules Committee to bring HB842 Right to Grow Crops to the floor for a vote. Although any discussions pertaining to chickens often devolve into puns and jokes, this is a serious matter and an important measure regarding the rights of Georgians. More and more communities are acting to restrict homeowners’ rights to grow food in their yards, decisions based on misconceptions. Noise and smell and humane ordinances will protect neighbors and animals from inconsiderate, unhealthy, or improper practices. There is no need for communities to limit rights of responsible Georgians who want to grow food in their yards. That is why it is so important that HB842 reach the floor for a vote.
Due to relocation for marriage and the stagnant real estate market, I moved to an area that does not allow me to keep my two hens, which were pets and egg providers in my previous in-town property, so I had to give them away. But I want to grow a large garden and keep chickens for eggs (and to keep down the bug population, and to fertilize my crops, and to weed beds) to provide food to save money (a necessity in this economy), to ensure better health (especially as my husband and I raise our son, who will born this summer), and to teach our son simple subsistence and agricultural skills and the joy of helping things grow. My city currently prohibits these basic rights.
In a tough time in our country’s history, we asked our citizens to grow Victory gardens,which they did with pride. Now–in different but again tough times–we are restricting citizens’ ability to do the same. Please get this bill to the floor for a vote and allow Georgians to grow a healthier tomorrow.
Thanks for helping to make this possible!