Kimberley’s conversation about backyard chickens has been put on hold, after a decision by Kimberley Council last week to not amend the bylaws to allow urban poultry.
In November, 2013, Council received information and petitions from a local resident calling for regulation of backyard chickens in the community. At that time, Council directed City staff to research the issue and present options for Council’s consideration at a future meeting.
Mayor Ron McRae said that at the meeting on Monday, June 23, there were two choices put before Council.
“One was that we further engage the community in looking at the amendments to the bylaw that would in fact allow backyard chickens,” he said. “The other option was to not proceed with looking at amendments. So in effect, no, we would not entertain amending the bylaw to allow backyard chickens.
“The second option was the way the Council chose to go — to not proceed any further to amending the bylaw, and moving on to looking at something else.”
McRae said that the basis of the decision was the potential that introducing backyard chickens had of attracting wildlife.
“Staff did a good amount of research,” he said. “We did get feedback from the public, both positive and negative. And really, the bottom line was it really didn’t make sense to introduce another attractant into the community that presents a conflict situation with respect to wildlife — specifically bears.
“We are in the process of minimizing as many attractants as we can,” McRae added. “We just recently have taken down on city property a number of fruit trees that were attractants for bears.
“So at this point in time it didn’t make sense to introduce something that had the potential to bring more wildlife into the community.”