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Kawartha Lakes investigating backyard chickens

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is working with local residents to examine the possibility of allowing backyard chickens. At a committee of The Whole Meeting, on Tuesday, September 1st, Municipal Law Enforcement manager Aaron Sloan provided an update on council’s investigation into possibly allowing backyard chicken coops. “Currently, backyard chickens are not permitted in most residential areas, other than on agricultural lots such as farms. Having alternate food sources such as small chicken coops has been a topic of interest for many families. It’s been discussed many times over the years,” Mr. Sloan told councillors. In November, Kawartha Lakes council heard a deputation requesting the City to create a bylaw to allow backyard chickens. A petition in favour of this change was also submitted to the city at the time with over 400 signatures. However, Mr. Sloan said there are a number of considerations regarding this topic. These include potential impacts to the City’s zoning bylaws, building permits for chicken coops, location of coops in the yard, potential bio-hazards and other health and safety concerns and the number of chickens. Mr. Sloan pointed out, city staff are currently working with the communications department to hold a couple week survey, in order to get feedback from the community. The results will then be put into a future report for council to discuss. The report is expected to come to council before the end of 2020. City staff are also talking to representatives from the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health unit, other municipalities and the Ontario ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

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