New rules that will allow Revelstokians to legally keep backyard chickens are set to go in front of council on Tuesday.
The amendments to the city’s animal control bylaw are set to be given first and second reading, with a public hearing to be scheduled for Tuesday, August 25.
The amendments set out the regulations for keeping backyard chickens — something many people already do.
According to the proposed rules, chickens can be kept in any single-family home in town, and chicken keepers must either own their property or have permission from the owner. They cannot be kept on multi-family lots or in mobile home parks.
Hen keepers can keep a maximum of five hens and must have a license from the city, which will cost $25.
They are required to have a hen enclosure that’s at least 0.9 square metres per hen and located in a fenced rear or side yard. The pen can’t be within five metres of a neighbour’s home and must be covered on all sides and on top.
Owners must also have a chicken coop that is at least one square metre per hen, and no more than two metres high. The maximum size of the coop and pen is 7.5 square metres.
Hens must be fed and cared for, and the enclosure must be maintained. Steps to reduce wildlife attractants must be taken.
Eggs can only be use for personal consumption, and roosters are not allowed.
The issue of keeping backyard chickens has been on and off the city agenda for years. A bylaw governing all sorts of animals from was presented to council in 2013, but it fell by the wayside.
The city’s environmental advisory committee requested thebylaw be revived in May.
The lack of a bylaw hasn’t stopped anyone from raising hens; a staff report estimates 35 households are raising chickens within city limits.