Town of Vulcan receives inquiry about raising chickens in town, but council opts against moving forward at this time

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Vulcan Town council is not moving forward with a request to consider allowing chickens to be raised in town, but left the door open if there’s a demand for it in the future.

Kim Fath, the Town’s administrator, said March 22 he had received a request from a resident who wrote a letter about the possibility of changing Vulcan’s bylaws to allow residents to raise a small number of hens in town.

Fath said a report prepared by Nancy Neufeld, the Town’s development officer, was put before council to get a sense of what council wanted to do, and whether council wanted administration to prepare a detailed report for its consideration.

“It’s more for you guys’ discussion,” said Fath during the March 22 meeting. “If you would like more information on urban chicken, then we will prepare a report that will hopefully help you decide whether you want to amend the land-use bylaw or not.”

Coun. Lyle Magnuson said the Town would need more staff to monitor people taking care of chickens, as well as residents with cats and dogs, if council decided to allow chickens to be raised in town.

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“So maybe we need to hire more bylaw officers if we’re going to do something like this,” said Magnuson.

“That’s a really good point,” said Fath. “We don’t have the manpower or the expertise at this point. There may be more manpower that’s involved in something like this.”

Magnuson said animal licences would need to go up to pay for the increased monitoring of residents’ animals.

“Someone’s going to have to pay for it,” he said.

Fath said Johnson’s request is the only official one made to the Town.

“And again, it came to me, as administration,” he said.

With only one request, Coun. Lorna Armstrong said allowing people to raise chickens in town is not a high priority.

“My feeling would be that if we get 30 people applying next week, we look into it,” said Armstrong. “If we’ve only heard from one, I’m inclined to say that we probably don’t need to look after it.”

Fath informed councillors and the mayor that they can simply receive administration’s report for information.

“You don’t have to do anything with it,” he said. “I was more looking for (an) official motion if you wanted more information put towards it. Because more information costs you administrative time.”

At the end of the discussion, council carried Armstrong’s motion to receive the report and correspondence for information.

“If more requests come in, we’ll look at it again,” said Armstrong.

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