The dismissive critics might benefit from reading Rebecca Ryan's Live First, Work Second, which explores the proposition that young competent people are less likely than previous generations to pick a career and live wherever that takes them, than to decide where they want to live and then find work that suits them.
According to research done by the author:
Three out of four Americans under the age of 28 said a cool city is more important than a good job.
Older people can scoff, be dismissive and act incredulous, but this actually seems to have some validity. Consider these excerpts from young professionals who left Sarasota, but who took time to write about the chicken ordinance:
I believe that these kinds of creative, progressive measures would make young people in my demographic see Sarasota differently, and perhaps open minds to the possibilities the city has to offer if we stay and work hard to help it grow. This is such an important issue for young people, and I hope you will consider that as you make your decision.
I left Sarasota to live in other places which I considered to exhibit progressive environments. Having access to backyard chickens and community gardens would have made remaining in Sarasota a much more attractive option for me, as I believe it would be for the many young people who move to or visit Sarasota each year.
I was a student at New College and a resident of Sarasota for four years. Part of the reason I left Sarasota is that I didn't that feel it was progressive enough for a young person like myself, so I headed to Asheville, NC. The ordinance to allow 4 - 6 backyard hens (no roosters), is a perfect example of the kid of forward-thinking, progressive policy that brings throngs of young, intelligent people to Asheville. As a former resident of Sarasota and someone who still cares deeply about the city, I urge you to pass this ordinance.
I hope Richard Clapp, Suzanne Atwell and Kelly Kirschner, Sarasota City Commission take the route of accepting urban farming as a progressive approach to attracting a creative class to Sarasota. If NYC and LA can do it I'm sure we can figure it it out too. Just ask Richard Florida.