Comment 73309

By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2012 at 13:09:17

John couldn't post this comment due to 'internal server error' warnings he received when he tried but with his permission, I am adding this comment to this thread on his behalf.

Regarding some comments above about land restrictions, a one acre minimum is very restrictive indeed. I live on the east mountain, my property size is 60' x 100' and that's plenty big enough to keep hens in a coop, without being too noisy or too close to my neighbours (who incidentally would probably want to get their own chickens). Even with a small coop, say 2-3 hens, I would still have a ton of open space in my backyard. My 60' x 100' lot size is 0.137 acre, or 1/13 of an acre. Leghorn, how many properties do you know of in urban Hamilton that have "at least one acre of land"?

Solutions exist and a good handful of Canadian cities that have already paved the way with respect to allowing urban/backyard chickens have chosen to focus on solutions, not the problems. And if you read the policy reports and guidelines of those municipalities you will learn that the problems and/or complaints have all been minor and for the most part easily remedied. What will we choose to focus on here in the Hammer?

This is the Green Belt. Hamilton could be the model city for urban sustainability if it wants to be. Other forward-thinking cities have done this ahead of us and so we already have a template and a wealth of other resources to make this work. Hamilton City Council, so many of your constituents want this, so what are we waiting for?

When this passes, we (the people who want this) should welcome inspections by the City, because how else would the City know what situations and what types of coops work best so as to make appropriate recommendations to the coop owners who fail said inspections? Furthermore, the guidelines could be laid out upfront to give people the opportunity to setup a proper urban chicken environment right from the start. Vancouver's guidelines were very well detailed and include schematics for coops/runs as well as recommendations for setbacks (distances from property boundaries/buildings) for various types of lots. I've posted this and other documents on the Urban Chickens Hamilton facebook page. If you read it you will see that Vancouver really did its research (it's 32 pages long) in producing these guidelines. Hopefully Hamilton City Council can do the same.

The keeping of backyard urban chickens can be done right and not be smelly, noisy or otherwise be a nuisance to those who unwittingly oppose urban chickens. It's time to stop catering to the lowest common denominator. The world is changing and people are tired of so much of their food coming from the states and abroad needlessly, or in the case of eggs, locally but from unhealthy caged hens. With regards to the movement for green/local/sustainable living, I am optimistic that this could could be one of Hamilton's finest moments in recent history.

~ John Margaritis

Comment edited by lawrence on 2012-01-25 13:57:28

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