(THE NEWS/files)

New Urban Hen Bylaw presented to Eckville council

The bylaw received its first reading from council at the regular meeting on Aug. 10

The topic of keeping urban hens returned to Town Council after the previous Domestic Animal Control Bylaw was shut down in June.

At the regular scheduled meeting on Aug. 10, the new Urban Hen Bylaw was presented to council for first reading.

The bylaw, if passed, will regulate the keeping of urban hens within the Town of Eckville.

A public hearing will be held at the Sept. 14 meeting as council is looking to give residents an opportunity to voice their concerns or support before further voting. Pre-registration for participants will be necessary to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.

According to the bylaw a person can apply to keep no more than three urban hens on a single property.

Hens must be kept for personal use and owners are not permitted to sell eggs, meat, manure or other products with associate with keeping urban hens.

Coops must be located in the rear of the lot behind the dwelling and each hen must be provided at least one nest box and one perch. No urban hens can be kept in a single-family residential zone with an area of less than 464.52 sq. metres.

Owners must ensure coops are properly maintained in a clean condition to prevent negative impacts such as “obnoxious odours or noise.”

The owner’s rear yard must be securely fenced and urban hens must be kept in a coop. Urban hens must not be “running-at-large” and manure must be stored in an enclosed container.

Those interested in owning urban hens will be able to submit a completed application for a license to the Town to receive validation of registration.

An initial application fee of $100 covers the inspection of the property and the first year of an Urban Hen License fee. An annual $50 fee will be due prior to Jan. 31 of each subsequent year.

A maximum number of Urban Hen Licenses of one per every 100 persons based on the population of the Town.

Urban hen owners who contravene with any provision of the bylaw is guilty of an offence and are liable to a fine.

The bylaw will come into force and effect once it receives it third and final reading.

A complete copy of the bylaw can be found on the Town of Eckville’s website.

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