Perhaps backing into a chicken-keeping ordinance is indeed the best way to move it forward. Still, we question the permitting process in this case, albeit as part of a trial period, that would limit the number of hen raisers in Goshen to 50. This strikes us as an arbitrary number — if a practice is allowed, why isn’t it acceptable across the board?
A REQUIREMENT TO COLLECT signatures from adjoining property owners in order to receive a permit also seems off-base. It implies there’s something unsavory about hens. We point out that Goshen residents are allowed to harbor barking, waste-producing dogs without first seeking the OK of their neighbors.
The Goshen News thinks the Goshen City Council should pass the original ordinance, with the stipulation that the issue be reviewed annually for a two-year period. Those who wish to raise chickens during that time would do so knowing the risk, and with the understanding that their compliance to the rules would be the foundation of the ordinance’s longevity.
In this scenario, city code enforcers would report to the council their observations and any concerns about hens in Goshen. So would neighbors to the residents who opt to own chickens. At the end of the trial period, council members could decide to let the ordinance stand, modify it or scrap it altogether.
That’s our take on the situation. In the days leading up to and including the April 15 Goshen City Council meeting, we hope you express yours, too.