Survey says: chickens OK in Saanich backyards

Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it’s being welcomed into Saanich with relatively open arms.

The results of the municipality’s backyard chicken survey shows that 84 per cent of respondents supported the presence of feathered friends in local yards.

“It’s a very positive step,” said Coun. Dean Murdock, who’s campaigned for Saanich to bring its bylaws up to par with neighbouring municipalities. “It puts us on a course of action that allows us to begin to address food security and local production.”

Council will receive a recommendation from staff in the next few weeks about how to best to change existing rules. There will also be more in-depth dialogue around potential issues.

The majority of the 528 survey respondents supported allowing chickens on properties with an area of at least 560 square-metres, the smaller of the two residential zoning options proposed.

Saanich planner Jane Evans says if council approves the 560 sq.-m. option, as many as 77 per cent of Saanich’s 32,500 single family homes will be eligible to have backyard chickens.

The bylaw, if approved, would allow for up to five hens – though not roosters – to be kept in a pen in the backyard of a single family lot. Eggs can’t be sold and the chickens can’t be slaughtered.

The current bylaw prohibits keeping fowl on lots smaller than 1,115 sq.-m.

There are still a number of options on the table that council needs to discuss, including how chickens and coops will be mandated.

“We’d highly recommend there be a registration process so the properties can be identified and we’ll be able to disseminate information to the owner,” Evans said.

Murdock, chair of the healthy Saanich advisory committee, now hopes to use these results to springboard to working on an urban food production strategy and action plan before spring.

“There’ll always be a growing marketplace for the local farmer, but we need to put in mechanisms that open up that marketplace even more for local food producers,” he said, citing initiatives like pocket markets, allotment gardens and green roofs.

“We’ll hopefully be bringing Saanich into harmony with the regulations of our neighbouring jurisdictions. If you move from Victoria to Saanich, you can bring your chickens with you.”

Just Posted

Victoria non-profit empowers women escaping abusive homes with a fresh start

Organization’s gift certificate program helped around 400 women last year

VIDEO: Royal Bay Secondary students take flight in ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’

Play tells the story of the orphan who becomes Peter Pan

Sidney designer showing killer collection at Van Fashion Week

A young Sidney designer is showing her 14 piece collection Obsidian Nights at Vancouver Fashion Week

WATCH: Oak Bay wins regional skating competition

Winning tradition continues leading up to provincials

Volunteers begin work on memorial garden for former Metchosin counsellor

Garden a fitting tribute to Moralea Milne, a champion of Garry oak ecosystems

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

Most Read