Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Won't urban chickens use up more city resources?

This question was brought up by the Licencing Commission while they were researching the subject of urban chickens in Windsor, and I've heard people ask the same thing.

The thinking is that a small number of law-abiding chicken owners might be ok, but what if somebody decides to have a flock of 30, or keep roosters?

Well, for argument's sake, let's say the City decides residents may own up to 3 hens, and no roosters, reflecting what has been allowed in most cities that allow backyard poultry.

As of today, it is against the bylaw to own a flock of 30 chickens. After the hypothetical law-change, this would stay equally illegal.

So rather than worrying about additional resources to challenge homeowners who flaunt the rules in the future, shouldn't we start by looking at how much of a drain on public resources it is today?

As a matter of fact, Sarah Kacso is looking into that already, and she'll report on it in her blog when she gets the information she has requested.

This question also highlights the importance of a well-formed working group that invites (and uses) input from all interested residents.  If the bylaw is changed to reflect a consensus opinion from the vast majority of future urban chicken owners, there is little reason to expect any of those people to flaunt the rules.  It wouldn't be in their interests.

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Please keep the Windsor urban chicken discussion going! We love to 'read your constructive comments.