We’re getting close folks! The City of Vancouver has just released the draft guidelines for keeping backyard chickens. Now they are looking for your input.
Here’s what the city has to say:
Following the Council motion in the Spring of 2009, City staff have been working to develop a set of draft guidelines that would cover the keeping of backyard hens in Vancouver.
A discussion draft of these guidelines has now been produced and was provided to the Vancouver Food Policy Council for their review in September. You can download a copy of this document at www.vancouver.ca/chickens.
Should you wish to provide feedback or commentary around these guidelines, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome your input into this process.
We plan to take a revised version of the draft to City Council in October of this year, and would appreciate any commentary you might have by Wednesday, October 21, 2009.”
Heather Havens has summarized some important points to consider about the bylaw.
What I’d like to see fixed:
- 10 ft from neighbor’s dwellings might be reasonable, but 10 ft fromcone’s own dwelling will definitely be prohibitive (and won’t be followed).
- “No side or front yards” will prohibit corner lots, and it is rumored that there might be city councilors with corner lots that are thinking about getting chickens.
- 4 sq ft per hen in hen-house (“coop” is used in the draft and is confusing) is excessive, contrary to University and vet recommendations, and will create excessively large, heavy, tall, obtrusive, and expensive hen-houses. 10 sq ft per hen in their run, not including their space in their house, is also excessive and will be prohibitive. 1.5 sq ft per hen inside “hen-house”, and 8 sq ft per hen outside, in their run or coop, is recommended (see attached University of Vermont Extension publication).
- 1 nest per hen is not correct, 1 per 4 – 5 hens is recommended (see University of Vermont Extension publication attached).
- Chicks should be discouraged, but not prohibited.
- People want to, and will, let their hens out in their properly fenced back-yards, while they are there to supervise. It would be nice if all of these people could do this, which they will be doing regardless of the bylaw, without breaking the law.