JUNCTION CITY, Ore. — A 40-year old ordinance is at the center of controversy in Junction City.
It bans residents from owning animals like chickens and ducks and it has residents crying foul.
Now, they’re taking their fight to the web, by creating a campaign on Facebook.
They call themselves the Backyard Farming Coalition. On the website, residents voice their frustration on the ordinance that makes it illegal for residents to own livestock, poultry and bees within city limits. The ban was set in place 40 years ago. Residents say it’s time to change that.
“I think it makes a lot of sense for the city to allow us to raise chickens. It just basically makes me feel like a criminal. I don’t need to be listening for my neighbor on a bad day she might complain. It just makes no sense,” said Junction City resident Dianna Smith.
Dudley Clark was fined $500 for raising ducks in his backyard. His neighbors joined him to fight for changes to the ordinance, a process that took two years.
On Tuesday, the city council rejected their proposals. In a statement, the Interim City Administrator says the council members “… provided individual comments on the issue and no motion was approved.”
Residents feel the city council is disconnected with the lifestyles in their part of town.
“There were two council members who were completely against it and ironically they live 15 miles out of town,” said Junction City resident Charlie Thompson.
Even residents like Smith who don’t own animals support the changes.
“I personally appeared before the city council for it. I wrote a letter,” Smith said. “We put in a lot of work to appeal for us.”
Residents hope the city council will be more of a voice for the core area of Junction City.
“There’s too many personal reasons. These people talk about their personal interests. And if you don’t like chickens, don’t have them,” Thompson said.
On top of the Facebook campaign, residents plan on starting a petition.