Duncan chickens could be forced to fly the coop
It was a close race but survey results show the rooster finished last.
The city sent out a survey asking residents what they think of allowing chickens on properties, and while 46 per cent of respondents said 'yes', 54 per cent said 'no'.
The city's director of Finance, Peter de Verteuil, said the close results show the debate on having chicken coops in urban areas is a hot topic.
“(It’s) potentially about public health, it’s about people talking about the right to food and people talking about what are they allowed to do on their own property,” he explained.
“Then there’s unsightly and noise issues, it touches on so many different issues, all in one little package.”
But the final decision on allowing chicken coops in Duncan will have to wait until a council meeting Aug. 7 and if City Councillor Martin Barker gets his way, the city will heed the results of the survey.
Barker is opposed to residents keeping chicken coops in urban areas but at the same time, he said he is sensitive to those who already have chickens.
“A lot of people really are attached to their chickens and attached to the idea of providing food for their families from their own yards,” he admitted.
“That’s a very important thing, I think, for people who are advocating chickens.”
Barker was also impressed with the 25 per cent response to the survey. That’s more, he pointed out, than the number of residents who voted for mayor and council in municipal elections last fall.
There is no by-law regulating backyard chickens specifically but under other city by-laws, Barker said residents are actually restricted from keeping them. He’s hoping city council will decide to keep it that way and enforce it.
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