The Caledonia Village Board voted down a proposal Wednesday night to allow residents to keep a small number of chickens in their yards. Patrick Flynn, of Caledonia, was a supporter of the ordinance. Here's his response:
What I observed last night, based on community comments was a division of generations. The older generations were clearly opposed, and the majority of the younger generations clearly supportive. Those that educated themselves and actually read the proposal were in favor. Those that did not, had visions of grand ‘ol chicken farms in their neighbors backyards. They feared everyone in their neighborhoods would want chickens and it would ruin their property values.
We based everything in our proposal on facts and testimonials from other communities that adopted this ordinance. The comments made from the opposition were so far off base that it tainted the entire proposal. Kevin Wanggard made the statement.. “We will not allow outside communities influence what we do in Caledonia, this is our community and that will not change”. The board voted based on emotions, “what ifs” and fear that if we changed this ordinance it would lead to other changes down the road.
Self -sustainability in Caledonia will be difficult. An older gentleman said “the next thing these folks will want is solar panels…. That will really bring down property values”. What is sad, is that I do want to install residential solar and wind to power my home. When I asked board member Kevin Wanggard about residential wind power I was told any attempt to change that ordinance will be futile. It is apparent that this community is just not ready for this new generation and this new era to be self-sustainable. The majority of board members are focused on commercial development rather than the quality of life for the people that live here. I truly believe the residents in Caledonia moved here because they wanted to get away from the city. That it was the rural setting, farm lands and open areas that attracted them here. I would hope that our board would recognize this and focus on ways to preserve our natural resources and find a way to reduce taxes in the process.
4124 Mona Park Road