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Kawartha Lakes moving towards allowing backyard chickens temporarily

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is moving towards allowing backyard chickens on a trial basis.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting, on Tuesday, March 9th, councillors endorsed a motion to direct city staff, to “develop and amend the animal control by-law, to remove Chickens as a prohibited animal, and to provide additional amendments, to allow for Backyard Chickens in certain residential areas, for a two-year trial pilot project.” The motion requested staff, to “amend the Fees by-law, to include a licensing fee for coop registration and inspection.”

Aaron Sloan, the City’s Manager of Municipal Law Enforcement and Licensing, talked about the importance of backyard chickens to the community.

“[The issue of] backyard chickens has been before council a number of times since the early 2000s. There’s been a long-standing community interest, I think. People have had interest in home grown products, such as eggs and meat. The recent COVID-19 pandemic, initially, created a food product insecurity. There [were] shortages, so backyard chickens came to the forefront again. It’s looked at as an alternative food source for individuals and families,” he explained.

According to a staff report, under this trail program, the number of allowed coops would be capped at 50.

Since this was done at a Committee of the Whole meeting, the recommendation still needs to be approved at a council meeting later this month. If passed, the bylaws would be brought forward to council in the second quarter of this year.

“Within that process, I’ve promised to go back to the health unit, [and] to the agricultural development committee and have them review the proposed bylaw. I’ll be open to their comments. I’m going to try to incorporate everything within reason into that bylaw,” Mr. Sloan stated.

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