To the editor:

At a recent Spring Valley City Council meeting, the issue of keeping rabbits as pets was discussed, and after examining the current ordinances in Spring Valley, they are very restrictive. I would urge the City Council to take an urban agriculture approach when re-examining the animal ordinances. 

Urban agriculture is the practice of producing food within city limits. There are numerous benefits for a city to adopt this approach that include increasing food security, creating a sense of belonging, fresh produce, learning opportunities and community engagement. 

Animals can be a vital addition to urban agriculture. The most popular animals for this application are chickens, rabbits, quail, bees, pygmy goats and Dexter cattle. The city can design ordinances to encourage urban agriculture and control the three main sources of complaints (sight, sound, and smell). As a base for these ordinances we should look to the city of Boston, Massachusetts, which has a very robust and easily accessible set of ordinances.

Spring Valley already celebrates its agriculture heritage and the principles of urban agriculture will only help reinforce that heritage. The benefits of this approach far outweigh the risks and would create many opportunities for the residents of Spring Valley.

Sincerely,

Bradin Hammon

Spring Valley