Council heard from people for and against the new backyard chicken regulations at a public hearing last week.
Four people took the time to speak at the hearing, held last Tuesday, Aug. 25, in council chambers. Two spoke against the bylaw, while two others spoke in support.
Gerry Schleiss said they shouldn’t be allowed in residential areas. “I believe they will attract rodents, bears and coyotes,” she said. “We’re discouraged to put our garbage out every morning — now we’re going to put fresh food out?”
Melissa Hemphill, representing the Local Food Initiative, spoke in favour of the new regulations, saying it’s a priority of the city food strategy that council endorsed earlier this year.
“The bylaw contains safety precautions, neighbourhood considerations and a permitting system that allows self-sustaining citizens to produce food lawfully,” she said.
Two written submissions were received from the public. Tony Morabito asked that immediately adjacent neighbours be given a veto in case of conflict, and Elaine Greenwood opposed the bylaw , writing that “hens at times can be noisy and if not looked after and cleaned properly can create odours, thereby affecting the peace and enjoyment for neighbouring property owners.”
She said hen enclosures should consist of at least a five-foot high solid fence.
The proposed amendments to the city’s animal control bylaw allow for people to keep a maximum of five hens in their backyard, provided they use a proper enclosure and take steps to reduce wildlife attractants.
Council will likely deliberate the bylaw again at its next meeting, before voting whether or not to adopt it.
Shopping centre bylaw amended
The proposed land-use changes for a new highway shopping centre development have been amended.
The amendments allow for commercial development across the entire property, and not just on the two parcels that are slated for the shopping centre.
The changes were made at the request of the property owner, and were given first reading by council at its Aug. 25 meeting.
Because of the changes, the public hearing for the shopping centre was rescheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 3 p.m. in council chambers.