Backyard Chicken Coops Reconsidered

NANAIMO – A chorus of clucking chickens might soon begin wafting over the city of Nanaimo. Council is considering a bylaw amendment that would allow people to keep livestock in their backyards. Proponents like Dirk Becker say it’s an environmentally friendly way to produce food for their families. The backyard hens is an indicator of people wanting to go back to a more gentler, softer, kinder way of living, Becker said. At Buckerfields, a garden and feed store in south Nanaimo, manager Keith Assen says more and more people are asking about growing their own food whether its veggies in the garden or hens in the backyard. Its becoming quite predominant in town, Assen said. City council has directed staff to review the bylaws, which currently restrict livestock to properties more than one acre in size. A lot of council is supportive in principle, mayor John Ruttan said. But we have to look at the ramifications of it. Some of the concerns over amending the bylaws include noise complaints, odour, and enforcement issues. The staff report is expected back to council within the next few weeks.

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