Surrey chickens all cooped up
The City of Surrey says there was a loud call to allow backyard hens at properties smaller than a farm, but only 15 people have registered between September 2013 and now. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
The City of Surrey is just a few months away from the completion of its one-year pilot project on backyard hens in residential properties.
But despite what Surrey planner Markus Kischnick called vocal demand to allow chickens on smaller properties, only 15 people had registered — even with a months-long deadline extension for applications.
“In terms of what we see in the overall numbers of people coming forward, it’s not a lot. It’s a strong voice but it’s a minority because there’s a lot of work involved with having chickens,” he said.
Kischnick said some issues might be that the pilot property size restriction, which lets anyone with a property of at least 10,000 square feet register, was still too large.
Prior to the pilot, only homes of at least 43,500 square feet could host chickens.
“Quite a few people were coming in looking to register lots more of a typical — what we call RF 7,200 square foot — kind of lots,” he said.
“At this point we’ve said no to those.”
Kischnick said other factors might be that some — worried they’d get chickens taken away at the end of the pilot project in October — have chosen not to apply.
“(Others) were, let’s say, wanting to have chickens on a two-plex lot greater than 10,000 square foot or mobile home parks, which is not permitted.”
The pilot project officially ends on Oct. 31.
“We’ll bring a report back to council to identify the next steps in the project. At this point we don’t neccesarily have a direction in mind,” Kischnick said.
He added there were no complaints during the pilot period that began in September last year.
A report with recommendations on how to go forward will likely come to council in September this year.