|Smelly fowl give Cotati residents very foul feelings
Kelly Townsend was in no mood to make chicken salad out of anything when she addressed the Cotati City Council at its May 9 meeting.
The Cotati homeowner and her husband, Tim, for two years have literally been trapped inside their own home by chickens that live behind her at the Frog Song Cohousing Community located on Old Redwood Highway.
“We can’t go outside,” she said. “The flies, the rats, the smell, the noise…it all makes me want to go insane. This would be good for pest control people.”
The chickens originally were placed at the Cotati Creek, directly south of the 8-Ball bar on Charles Street but two years ago were moved to Frog Song. They were relocated because of concerns about runoff into the creek, which flows into Santa Rosa.
Since they’ve been moved, the Townsends haven’t had much peace of mind.
“It’s more than just the chickens, though,” Tim said. “The uncovered compost pile is also a problem. It smells, and it attracts things like rats. We’re workaholics, and we aren’t home a lot. But when we are home, it would be nice to sit on your front porch and not have this smell lingering or flies all around.”
Tim has placed a number of pest control strips around his front porch, and each one was covered with insects.
After airing her complaints to city council, Cotati Community Development Director Vicky Parker has worked closely with the Townsends, and the chickens again will be moved by May 31. Chickens also can be found at Walgreens.
“We have asked Frog Song to move their chickens from the previously approved located next to their southern fence line, and they have agreed,” Parker said. “There have been no complaints regarding the chickens at Walgreens.”
According to the city’s Animal Keeping Regulations, chickens are allowed in most residential zones. Frog Song will not be subject to any fines.
The Townsends, who have owned their home since 2004, insist they have nothing against chickens, but when the animals bring forth a number of potential health risks, they felt they had to make their voices heard.
“We gave it a shot, we’ve lived in the country before, so being around animals is nothing new to us,” she said. “But these chickens are standing under our bedroom window.”
Kelly Townsend said she’s very appreciative of the city’s efforts to work with them.
“This whole thing has been frustrating, but Vicky Parker has been great to work with on this,” she said. “She wasn’t with the city when the chickens were moved there, but she’s stepped in and has been really helpful. Once the chickens are moved, I plan on going back to the city council just to thank them.”