Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1 Progress Report

So far we have had informal contact with three of the five Sarasota City Commissioners. They combine real interest in the possibilities of backyard chickens with their responsibilities to reflect many of the community concerns we have already identified.

Part of the path to success will be identifying and addressing legitimate concerns and doing so in a way that does not place so many constraints on having a few hens that it becomes unworkable. 

Here are some new concerns that we have not heard previously:

• Is there a need to simultaneously develop a compatible ordinance for the county, or is it okay for the City to go first?

• What happens if a chicken ends up on the loose in the neighborhood?

• Are the eggs just for home use and giving to neighbors or what happens if someone wants to sell eggs?

• Does the City need some form of tracking these animals (like dogs) or would it be okay to just have a few hens without all the government tracking (just like cats are now)?

And here are some tips and advice we've garnered:

Decision-makers would like to know where are chickens in cities working well.

Individual field trips to homes with chickens would help commissioners form their own opinions about the birds.

Having a local veterinarian working with our group would lead credibility.

Please spread the word (you can forward this email) about our next meeting 6:30 p.m., Tuesday July 7th, back the auditorium at the Extension office, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, Florida 34241.

AND if you are supportive, please join the Sarasota CLUCK facebook group: