City staff have been told to prepare a report on the implications of allowing residents across the city to raise chickens in their backyards.
Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh asked for the report, saying she's had the request from residents. Guelph and Kitchener already allow it, McIntosh said.
“They made it work and I think we can make it work, as well,” she said.
“There seems to be quite a bit of interest among a number of residents in exploring this option,” said Ward 5 Coun. Bob Kirwan, who said it would be great for local kids to get some farming experience.
Ward 7 Coun. Mike Jakubo said, while he understands the benefits, said there's likely a reason backyard chicken farms are currently restricted to agricultural and rural areas of the city.
“My biggest concern is that we live in a large city,” Jakubo said. “We've got some very urbanized areas. The challenge for me is imposing something on the public.”
And Ward 6 Coun. Rene Lapierre said he's already getting questions from people about whether they will have to put up fences to keep chickens out of their yards, and how many birds someone can raise on their property.
“And how much of an impact will this have on bylaw (services)?” Lapierre said. “Because this would require enforcement.”
The staff report will look at what is done in cities that allow urban chickens, the concerns that arise and the benefits. The report is due next month.