Other than the vegan and the ultra-pragmatic, who hasn't fantasized about raising chickens in their backyard? Or even having a big enough backyard to put a chicken coop in? The zeitgeist belongs to the urban farmers, the raisers of goats and tenders of beehives.
Those living the dream, though, are finding that raising livestock in Oakland presents some unique problems. Oakland North just produced a great video story about two urban farmers, Jeanie McKenzie and Esperanza Pallana, who are coming up against not just zoning problems but neighbor clashes and wild animals who see their gardens as a source for food.
It may be easy to pooh-pooh those concerns until you're living next to a dying goat who's screaming all night, or fending off invasions from raccoons drawn to your neighbor's chicken coop. Oakland's city planners are trying to reconcile both the pros and the cons as they attempt to craft smart, sensitive regulations that benefit urban farmers and the surrounding community.
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