Spalding County 4-H’er Claira (Clair) Knapp has always had a love for chickens. When her family moved from Wisconsin to Georgia, she learned she could not take her chickens with her. So, before moving to Georgia, Claira’s family made the hard decision to give her chickens away to a nearby Bible Camp in Wisconsin.
The subdivision the Knapp family moved into was not zoned for chickens. Andrea Knapp, Clair’s mother, even stated they feared if they had chickens they would be fined. After Clair and her family moved to Spalding County, Clair asked her mother again could they please have chickens and mother explained: “If you want chickens, you will have to write a letter to the county to get the law changed.” Which is exactly what Clair did.
Clair wrote a letter to Community Development Director, Chad Jacobs, and expressed her desire to have free-range chickens at her home. Mr. Jacobs encouraged her to meet with the County Commissioners and tell them why she wanted to be allowed to have chickens. Mr. Jacobs reached out to Clair and invited her to speak before the Spalding County Board of Commissioners with regard to changing the zoning ordinance in her neighborhood.
On Monday, April 15, 2019, Clair appeared before the County Board of Commissioners and requested they allow her to have 5 free-range or 10 cooped fouls. She explained she wanted to raise them to take to the fair and it would be both educational and fun. She also advised that the chickens would supply eggs for her family and be a healthier form of protein for their use. On Monday, July 15, 2019, the zoning ordinance was changed and Clair Knapp is now allowed to have 4 cooped chickens at her home.