Proposed Changes in Ashland Could Make "Going Green" Easier

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Mon, March 5 2012 at 6:06 PM, Updated: Mon, March 5 2012 at 7:58 PM

In Ashland the talk is all sustainability and now that there are possible rule changes on the Ashland City Council's table, it could soon be easier for Ashlanders to save money while also living consciously.

Ashland resident, August Schilling was glad to hear the council is looking at changing some rules. He said he's all about living green.

"We need to become more sustainable as resources get more scarce," said Schilling.

He said that's precisely why he said he's happy about the new proposals, which would allow more people to own up to five chickens within the city limits.

"The more we can produce locally, the better," Schilling said.

As it stands, chickens aren't allowed within 75-feet of a neighbor's home.

Ashland resident Sarah Goldberg said that rule, makes it difficult for many residents to have them.

"It's not feasible at all, a lot of the time we do have smaller yards," said Goldberg.

But under the proposed changes, the distance required between homes would go down to 20-feet.

"What the changes could do for an entire block, it would be huge [...] it would be incredible what we could provide each other as a whole community," said Goldberg.

Other proposed changes include loosening rules for installing solar panels on business rooftops, and raising the height of deer fences up to 8-feet.

The stipulation with those deer fences? They have to be see through and made of wire or mesh. That requirement sounded good to August Schilling, who said fences made of wood might feel too confining.

As for the chickens? Schilling said fewer restrictions will mean more food and fertilizer.

"Plus chickens are fun to have, fun to watch" he added.

But not everyone is in support of the changes. Common complaints about chicken coops near homes include the noise, smell, and unsightly mess they can produce. 

If you'd like to weigh in on changing the city code, the public hearing will be 7pm Tuesday evening in the council chambers at 1175 East Main Street in Ashland.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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