Chicken farm proposal highlights need for bylaw updates

Building a chicken farm on a piece of agriculture land highlights the need to simplify municipal bylaws.

Saanich’s director of legislative services says uncertainty surrounding whether a chicken farm, as proposed, could be built on a piece of agriculturally protected land highlights the need to simplify municipal bylaws.

Carrie MacPhee says her resolution, discussed at Monday night’s Saanich council meeting, suggests transferring portions of the Animals Bylaw to the Zoning Bylaw.

“It’s all housekeeping. … But I can say that the issue at 1516 (Mount Douglas X Rd.), for us, was just another situation that highlighted how it would be a lot easier having all the siting regulations and setback requirements in one document,” she said.

While there are currently no proposed changes to siting and setbacks in the bylaw, there is a recommendation to remove an “anomalous” portion of the Animals Bylaw that reads no building permit is required to construct or repair a kennel structure.

“(Kennels) have to comply with the B.C. Building Code, so we want to make sure our folks are in there, inspecting them to make sure they meet those code requirements,” MacPhee said.

The Mount Douglas X Road property in question, protected in the Agricultural Land Reserve, recently made headlines when Saanich denied the owners a building permit due to issues with setbacks in both the animals and zoning bylaws. The owners, and their lawyer, argue Saanich made an error.

kslavin@saanichnews.com