I believe we need a working group to examine the question from all angles, invite input from the public, and then work out a recommendation based on the results of the findings. A pilot program would be a helpful tool to reach a well-informed decision.
If I were to run the show, this would be my suggestion:
I would invite a finite number, say 50, of families to apply for a licence to participate in a pilot program on a first-come, first-served basis. I would not recommend charging a lot for this licence (and I would much prefer no charge at all), but a very modest fee to cover administrative costs is not unreasonable. After all, one of the objectives is to enable people on a tight budget to obtain affordable quality eggs. Also, we know there are people with illicit backyard chickens in Windsor. If they felt the fee was too high, they would simply remain underground.
I would have them sign a short agreement to abide by the rules.
And then I would allow those people to keep chickens.
- If there were well-founded complaints about the way they were keeping their chickens, the city would have grounds to terminate or refuse to renew their licence.
- If the pilot program was successful, the city could easily increase the number of licences available to allow a simple expansion of the plan.