Should the City of Delta allow homeowners to raise backyard chickens?
That’s what the city’s Agricultural Advisory Committee discussed this spring, asking staff to provide information regarding backyard chicken uses in other urban communities and their experiences.
The committee was given an overview outlining the regulations around backyard chicken uses in Delta and were told regulations varied among cities.
The committee was also told it was not considered a priority issue based on the few people that wanted to have them, but during the discussion it was noted that allowing backyard chickens provides an opportunity for education.
It was also noted that if they were permitted, there would need to be parameters in place to ensure that they do not affect neighbouring properties.
The issue was last brought up nine years ago when council held a workshop on a proposal by Tsawwassen resident Vera Ganderton, who wanted the municipality to create a test area allowing two to four hens per backyard. She also submitted a petition with over 100 names.
Council had received letters from other homeowners in Ladner and Tsawwassen asking for a bylaw change in order to allow people to raise hens as well.
The civic politicians at the time were told the bylaw only permits the keeping of chickens on large residential lots.
In residential zones, the keeping of household pets is permitted, however, the definition of household pets in the current bylaw specifically excludes poultry.
The keeping of chickens is permitted in zones that allow farming.