First grader asks City Council to allow backyard chickens
At the young age of 6, Timber Trail Elementary first grader Chase Weaver was introduced to city government. He spoke during public comment at a recent City of Castle Pines council meeting asking council members to revisit the City’s backyard chicken policy. Chase had to stand on a chair to see over the podium to address the council.
“I thought maybe since I was speaking, we would have a better chance at getting chickens,” Chase said. “After I was done, they told me I did a great job and were giving me high fives.”
Chase’s family wants the City to consider amending section 24 of the municipal code and allow a limited number of female chickens for domestic, noncommercial use in districts zoned PD (Planned Development) within the Green Valley designation of Castle Pines.
“This is so far from my identity,” laughed Robin Sweet, Chase’s mother. “We moved here with no intentions of ever having chickens.”
The family of four moved from Denver to Castle Pines about a year ago. Last summer, the family acquired a chicken coop and had four backyard chickens. They didn’t realize the animals were not allowed in Castle Pines until recently.
“We were under the impression that we were good to go because backyard chickens are allowed in Douglas County,” Sweet said. “But then we found out they’re not allowed in Castle Pines and specifically in the Green Valley district that we live in. So, we got rid of them.”
“It really made me feel sad,” Chase remembered. “They were fluffy and soft. I loved getting their eggs and watching them run around in the backyard.”
“We know that they went to a really good home, so we feel good about it,” Sweet said.
The future of backyard chickens is now in the hands of city council. Camden Bender, communications manager for the City of Castle Pines, says council has directed staff to prepare information and find out how neighboring cities of Castle Pines handle backyard chickens. In the meantime, Chase will wait patiently for an answer from city officials.
“My mom tells me and my sister to wait a lot, and all we can do now is just wait,” Chase concluded.
By Mindy Stone; photos courtesy of The Weaver Family