News Local

Surrey chickens all cooped up 0

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

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 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. 

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