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[AUDIO] Cockadoodle do? Or don't?

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Standing room only at the City Commission meeting.

Standing room only at the City Commission meeting. /Lisa Rose Starner

The Grand Rapids City Commission met with an unprecedented turn-out this evening to hear, among other agenda items, the proposed amendments to the city housing code that would allow hens to be raised and kept in the city limits. Dozens of families and individuals addressed the commission with their support and concerns regarding the prospect of chickens in the city.

Support for the proposal was overwhelming, with advocates citing education, sustainability, and localism as reasons to move forward with this form of urban farming. Those opposed to city chickens were concerned with nuisance and disease, and many stated that the lot sizes in their neighborhoods are too small to support the proposed limit of five hens per household. Many participants provided detailed documentation to support their arguments, which with City Commission will consider before the final decision is made on August 3rd.

The Commission also discussed and approved a proposed Brownfield Plan Second Amendment for the expansion of Founders Brewing Company's corporate and manufacturing facilities. The new facility, located at 248 Williams St. SW, will expand the distribution of Founders' beer and add 20 jobs to the existing 64, according to Mike Stevens, president of the brewery.

The Grand Rapids City Commission meets often, and most sessions are open to the public. Visit the City of Grand Rapids for more information.

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Thanks for this! I really wanted to go last night, but ended up not being able to make it. This is the next best thing!

I didn't realize the brewery expansion was on the table last night - are they moving all of their production facilities and expanding their brewpub or just addding more to what they are already have?

I love the audio interviews! I do have a point of contention. Near the end, the last interviewee says that if we want to be a progressive city, we have to do progressive things. She then rattles off a couple of examples of what she considers progressive, including Sunday business hours.

I am a bit hesitant to use the term "progressive" to label Sunday hours and urban farming. These are not necessarily progressive issues, and sadly, "progressive" is a loaded term. To me, it's more like if we want to be able to compete with many other major cities, we need to create latitude to attract different lifestyles, especially where it doesn't hurt Grand Rapids to do so.

The audio is a great addition to a meeting story like this, Carolyn. Great work, and your recording is incredibly high in quality, too!

Thanks for all the support!

Better late than never: the audio interviews were done during and after the meeting Tuesday evening. The interviewees were as follows: Mikal (age 10,) Pete Wayland, Jodi Coalter, and Jenn Wolf, in that order.

Awesome Carolyn, thank you for this as I couldn't make it either. 

George~  As far as Founder's goes, I think  they are just adding to what they have.

Denise~ well put.