Juneau Sustainability Session Provides Public Insight to Ordinance Drafts

    Juneau, AK (KINY) - The Juneau Commission on Sustainability held a public presentation to educate on the sorts of livestock law ordinance ideas they have been working towards.

    The Juneau Commission on Sustainability held a public presentation to educate the sorts of livestock law ordinance ideas they have been working towards.

    This mostly comes as a response to an increase of interest in raising livestock in Juneau, chickens especially. The laws of how many can be kept and the types of areas required hasn't been changed for over a decade and the group is steadily working towards a more proactive set of laws that keep sustainability needs in mind, without disrupting neighbors that may be affected by nearby livestock.

    Duff Mitchell, the chair of the commission, is looking to have lawmaking that strikes a balance.

    "We want to reflect the current need, not only just need, but the current balance in the community. We've done a lot of research and looking up other communities to see how other communities have have reacted to this."

    "So, we’re trying to get out in front of it and trying to do some of the early work to get the public discussion. We've learned a lot. There are a lot of chickens and there's a lot of growth happening. There's a lot of demand for organic eggs and with the whole thinking different about food in the last 5 or 10 years."

    "We're just trying to make our community a little more proactive, looking at the ordinance that might be outdated and try to make it work for everybody."

    Beth McKibben who is in CBJ Community Development told us the next steps are taking things to the Planning Committee and then the Assembly with public commentary on the draft. She also said of the draft, "I think the concepts will stay intact, but the exact wording and language might change. So, depending on what kind of public testimony we get at the Planning Commission, there is potential that they might send it back to the committee for more work. I think usually they would make some changes maybe in response and make the recommendations."

    We also asked McKibben what people should consider when looking to start raising livestock in Juneau.

    "Before you make any investments, you probably want to check with the CDD to talk about the rules and regulations. So what can you have or what kind of permits do you need before you start making any investments. Then, of course, you want to check with your local experts about the real practice of keeping them in a way that's economical and safe for you and your neighbors and for the animals."

    There were plenty of questions for the panel, revealing just how interested some of the public are in raising their own food and keeping livestock. Considering that Alaskans are importing roughly 95% of the food consumed, it only makes sense that sustainability be a focus for citizens and city officials.

     

     

     

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