On March 30th, the Enterprise ran a front page story about a complaint that had been lodged by the local sales manager of the new condominium project in Suttons Bay. It seems that the neighboring farm includes chickens, some of which are crowing roosters. The sales manager complained to the village council that:
It is constantly crowing, which in turn is making it difficult to show that particular property (to prospective buyers). I understand that our neighbors are not zoned to have a farm on that property, yet they have several chickens, ducks, and a rooster in a pen, located near the water.It is hard to figure out what she was thinking. She must not be too familiar with small town life. Village officials responded quite confidently that the chickens were OK. To quote village manager Chuck Stewart:
That farm has been there for about 150 years. I'd say it predates our zoning ordinance by well over a century. Besides, there's nothing in the village zoning that prohibits anyone from keeping chickens within the village limits. Several families keep chickens, one family has goats, and another even keeps horses inside the village. This is Northern Michigan, after all, and we're proud of our agricultural heritage.
The sales manager should use the poultry as a selling point. Fresh Eggs Next Door! Around the same time that this story broke, I was hosting web ads for Omlet USA, a backyard chicken supplier that custom ships a utra-fashionable coop with hens right to your home. I was especially taken with their page of fashion magazines with articles on backyard chickens. Chic chicks!
I guess the poor woman really didn't figure that her complaint would not only be spurned, but would run on the front page of the Enterprise. Even I was surprised about the letters to the editor, three weeks running, on this issue. They seemed to have tapped a deep vein of discontent towards people who want to move to Leelanau because it is so "unique" and then set out to change it to be more like everyplace else.
Known Books has posted a page of Suttons Bay Roosterisms.