Sicamous is currently without a bylaw for chicken coops in residential areas.

District asked to consider residential chicken bylaw

Resident willing to help people get started with coops

One might say Carolyn Sims isn’t one to count her chickens before they hatch.

Sims is interested in the idea of having a backyard chicken coop, a small, portable structure with maybe six hens (and no roosters). And while there may be others in Sicamous who have chickens, Sims is reluctant to get her own coop going until the District of Sicamous has a bylaw in place.

“Apparently, at this time, there’s no bylaw in effect to say either way…,” said Sims. “So I thought maybe it would be kind of neat to do that but to have a bylaw in place so if your neighbours came by and said I don’t think this is right and complained, you would have some footing.”

Sims submitted a letter to Sicamous council explaining this dilemma. District community planner Mike Marrs noted there are a number of municipalities in the province that do allow chickens in areas zoned residential.

“There are a number of conditions that are applicable to those requirements and it is something that staff will be bringing forward to council as we start addressing the zoning bylaw in relation to the OCP as well…,” said Marrs. “Certainly there is reason to support such and from research and everything we’ve been involved with, there has been very little if any negativity from a bylaw enforcement perspective. But there are fees, there are conditions and certain lot sizes that would control it. And the number of chickens – six hens, no roosters, that type of thing.”

Mayor Terry Rysz supported the idea, provided those caring for chickens are respectful to their neighbours. Coun. Jeff Mallmes had a different perspective.

“I can respect they want to have chickens for fresh eggs and stuff like that,” said Mallmes. “I’ve been to my son’s place and he has chickens and it stinks, quite frankly. So, if we allow this to go on, we will incur bylaw enforcement.”

Marrs reiterated that existing bylaws for chickens in residential areas are very strict.

“It’s something that’s worthy of discussion because there is a need, sustainability for food and that type of thing,” said Marrs.

Sims says Prince George is now moving ahead with a similar bylaw, and she would like to see Sicamous do the same. She says she has kept chickens in the past – when she lived on an acreage, and not her current Oak Street property.

“They’re very easy to keep and now there are a lot of breeds – we used to have maybe four or five breeds and now there’s all kinds, so you can get quite a few smaller-breed chickens so you can kind of put more in a small space than you used to be able to,” said Sims. “It’s just neat to have something like that too, something living and that depends on you and you have to keep going.”

With a half-dozen chickens in the backyard, each one laying about two eggs every three days, Sims expects she’d have more than enough eggs. In addition, there’s the chicken’s manure, which Sims says makes great fertilizer.

But for Sims, having chickens wouldn’t just be about the eggs – it’s about having something to keep her busy.

“I’m retired and my husband has a little part-time job because he doesn’t retire well,” Sims explained. “We got ourselves a little dog too because it gives us a reason to get up and move and do things. I can’t just sit here and vegetate – I have to go out and feed my chickens and walk my dog… My husband and I have travelled quite extensively. So it’s like, we’ve done all that stuff, but I still need a reason to move. And that was the whole thinking in a nutshell.”

If council does pass a chicken bylaw, Sims says whether or not she gets a coop of her own going, she would love to help others with theirs.

“I would be only too happy to help people with that and help get them started,” said Sims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Salmon Arm makeup artist adds new sparkle to industry

Missy MacKintosh launches her own cosmetics company with the release of biodegradable glitter

Blind Bay shooter changes story about accomplice

Jordan Barnes tells the court he was sole person responsible for death of Nicholas Larsen

Okanagan realtors add voices to anti-speculation tax coalition

This speculation tax is likely to harm the very people the government is trying to protect

Askew’s owner objects to underpass

Downtown Salmon Arm voices its support for project, which will go to referendum in October

Column: No last name required for Mayor Marty

I was saddened by the news of the death of former mayor… Continue reading

Your April 24 Morning Brief

Check out the top stories of the day in the Okanagan-Shuswap with Carmen Weld’s Black Press Morning Brief.

‘Enough is enough’: G7 ministers agree to call Russia out

‘Enough is enough’: G7 ministers agree to call Russia out on ‘malign’ behaviour

Cosby jury to decide: Serial rapist or con artist’s mark

Bill Cosby is at the courthouse Tuesday morning ahead of closing arguments in his sexual assault retrial.

Trump: ‘Our hearts are with the grieving families in Canada’

U.S. President Donald Trump is offering his condolences to Canadians

Trudeau calls van attack ‘horrific and senseless’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls van attack ‘horrific and senseless,’ says no apparent terror link

Officer’s actions ‘one shining moment’ after Toronto van attack

Arresting officer’s actions ‘one shining moment’ in the wake of Toronto van attack

Painting of Enderby landmark finds home in Victoria

Royal BC Museum adds, from Grafton Tyler Brown collection, work of Enderby Cliffs

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Okanagan Lake levels stay steady but snowpack is growing: officials

Whether or not the tributaries and creeks flood depends on how suddenly the snowpack begins to melt,

Most Read