Black Press File Photo

Black Press File Photo

Urban hens close to being permanent in Lacombe

Council passes first reading of bylaw to extend pilot program permanently

Lacombe City Council wasn’t chicken of passing first reading of a bylaw that would allows for the Urban Hen pilot program to become permanent.

The program, which started in Fall 2015, allows for 10 residences to have chicken coops with four hens on their properties. Currently there are nine active licenses and one inactive license — none of which the City has received any complaints over in

“We have brought the program back so they can review the amount of licenses as well as whether it should be created as a permanent program,” Diane Piche, director of Corporate Services, said. “We have been using it as a pilot program for the last two years. We have had inquiries and requests to increase the number of licenses. The pilot program ends at the end of 2018, so we want to make sure it continues.”

City Administration encourages Council to increase the amount of licenses in Lacombe to 13 and then continue to follow a one coop per 1,000 residents model. Each potential coop does currently and would in the future require permission from at least 50 per cent of their neighbors, as well as the need to to follow guidelines of ensuring sounds are minimum, cleanliness is upheld and that the hens are treated humanly.

”Our bylaw officers have requirements they have to check off to ensure owners are meeting requirements,” Piche said. “If they are meeting those requirements — away they go.”

Several Councillors, including Jonathan Jacobson and Mayor Grant Creasey questioned the need for limiting the amount of coops in Lacombe at all considering the City has received zero complaints or concerns since the pilot began. Council also suggested that this bylaw could be reviewed yearly — rather than the five years which was written into the original pilot.

Creasey said he wasn’t sure a limit is necessary and that if it was removed, there wouldn’t be a horde of interested parties coming to the City to apply.

“I can’t think of a logical reason to why we would limit to to one per 1000,” he said. “It seems like an extremely conservative number. For those individuals that are inclined to have urban hens, I think we should enable them too — provided they follow the rules put forth.”

Piche added her only minor concern with increasing above the one per 1000 ratio would be concentration in certain areas.

“Roughly that one per 1000 is the normal, or else nothing at all. Edmonton only has a maximum of 50 licenses right now, so they have a small allowances, Red Deer is at the 1 per 1000 and in Calgary they don’t allow it at all. It varies among municipalities,” she said.

Creasey said the yearly check-in would allow the City to gauge interest and see whether more licenses are required

“I have my doubts there will be a spike in requests, but we open to making those licenses available should the need be there,” he said, adding he is thankful for the people have adhered to the bylaw in its current form.

“They are being respectful of their neighbours, which is what we hope for with behavioural bylaws,” he said,

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Most Read