Monday, April 8, 2013

The Vancouver Experience

Windsor and Essex councillors and other people who are afraid of chickens taking over the city streets might be interested in learning what happened in Vancouver since backyard poultry were legalized there in 2010.

At the time, I remember reading about controversial plans to build a $20,000 shelter to house stray birds.

Luckily for the taxpayers, the shelter was never built.  Turns out, it was a good thing too, because it hasn't been needed.  Only 2 birds ended up needing rehousing.  They were taken in by a local farm family who, just like us at our collective, were more than happy to take on a layer they didn't have to pay for.  Ten bucks saved is always a good thing, no?

Only about 100 Vancouver households ended up applying for chicken permits, and the number of complaints has been around 20 a year.

I suppose some might think it isn't worth changing the bylaw for 100 households, though I see it differently.   Even in Windsor, a much smaller city, there is good reason to believe there are many more than 100 households who believe everyone should be allowed to own chickens if they wish. No doubt the number of households who actually do it is much smaller, but the same probably holds true for the number of households with more than 2 dogs, now that the bylaw has been altered to allow 3.

I'd like to know more about those 20 complaints a year.  What was the rate before 2010, and how many of the complaints related to the 100 households with chicken permits?  Who knows, perhaps all of the complaints related to birds living on properties without permits, in which case they would have proved that residents had nothing at all to fear from people who simply wanted a legal coop and up to 4 hens in their backyards.

The details in the story are a little sketchy, but you can read it in the Vancouver Courier.

If you want to know more about the rules in Vancouver, you can read all about them on the city's website.

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