This came in from Helen Marshall:
And you thought you’d heard the worst! I am trying to find out who and what the devil this is all about.
to Title 7 of the City Code to, among many other things, prohibit some feeding
of wild birds on private property. The proposal was presented at public
meetings on April 30 and May 14. Another public meeting is scheduled for June 4
at 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers. The slide in the presentation is labeled
“Add a section to address the feeding of certain animals that create common
nuisances.” The two photographs on the slide refer to birds. Ms.
Rodriquez-Hefner, the presenter, only talked about bird feeding. She mentioned
too many birds and old seed. She also said some people are allergic and some
have asthma. She did say they “are not talking about a single bird feeder.” The City staff have not yet drafted suggested wording. The public meetings are
to gather public input and attitudes before the ordinances are drafted by the
Legal Department and submitted to City Council for enactment. This effort apparently comes from complaints by neighbors (we know the details
of one complaint) about bird feeding being a nuisance. At present, the code
applies only to kept, caged, or controlled animals, not wild birds.
The Board of the El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society is strongly opposed to any
restrictions on feeding wild birds on private residential property. Wild bird
feeding is widely practiced in El Paso and is supported by numerous
organizations. Is the complaint of a cranky neighbor enough to harass a person
feeding birds? Which bird species? How many birds is too many? Do health
concerns have any scientific basis for persons marginally exposed to wild birds?
The Environmental Services Department has said they want to hear from the
public. If you have an opinion, please make it known.