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Hen keeping hatches at council - again

The Penticton council is again looking at the issue of keeping backyard hens in residential areas in the city.

The council passed a notice of motion, Monday, directing staff to bring back a report which outlines the options for allowing the hens, said Anthony Haddad, the city's director of development services.

Councillor Judy Sentes put forward a motion to revisit the matter at the last council meeting.

A presentation was also given by Penticton residents Aaron Quast and Lana Barr at Monday's meeting, said Haddad.

The presentation looked at the pros of urban agriculture, food security and sustainability and why hens?

In January, 2013, in response to growing public interest, a report to council was presented providing options to allow the hen keeping.

An 18 month pilot project was endorsed, and staff accepted applications for temporary use permits that would allow households in set zones to keep up to five backyard hens.

The project was approved, however, when former Mayor Dan Ashton was still on council.

When Ashton was elected to provincial office, there were six council members, and a 3-3 vote meant the motion went down to defeat.

As temporary use permits did not move to the next stage, there was no public hearing.

Staff will bring the matter back to the next council meeting.

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