Rule changes permit chickens in electoral area zones
Proponents of local food sources have something to cackle about.
On Wednesday, the Regional District of North Okanagan adopted bylaw changes that will permit hens in residential and rural zones in the five electoral areas.
“People assumed they already had this right,” said director Bob Fleming, referring to the fact that previous rules didn’t allow for chickens in residential settings although birds are fairly common.
The issue arose after a rural Enderby resident investigated the matter and determined he couldn’t legally have hens.
“You can have chickens in Vernon and Kelowna but it was ridiculous because you couldn’t in the rural areas,” said director Jackie Pearase.
The goal behind the updated bylaws is to encourage local food production and meet the needs of residents who want to know where their food comes from.
Like Fleming, Pearase believes the new rules just reflect reality.
“A lot of people have chickens and they weren’t aware they can’t have them,” she said.
The bylaw covers issues such as odour and the construction and location of hen houses. Roosters will not be allowed as a way of reducing noise for neighbours.
“If there is a complaint, the bylaw guidelines can be followed,” said Fleming of enforcement.
RDNO staff have also developed best management practices on keeping chickens.
“People will know there is humane treatment of the animals,” said Fleming.