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Backyard hens back on agenda

An idea hatched in Penticton last year, is again back on the agenda.

The issue of keeping backyard hens will be discussed by the city council at tonight's, Monday, meeting.

Staff is recommending that the council select one of three options.

The first is staff prepare the necessary amendments to the zoning bylaw and related animal regulating bylaws to allow for the keeping of a maximum of five backyard hens in certain zones.

Among the conditions here are no more than five hens may be kept on site, no roosters are permitted and hens may not be slaughtered on site.

Option two is that applications for the hens in the residential areas of the city be received on a site by site basis and each property be required to rezone to allow the use on their property.

The third is the preparation of 18 month temporary use permits, allowing a maximum of 15 households in certain zones to keep up to five hens, again with a set of conditions.

Council directed staff to bring back a report on the issue, after a presentation was also given by residents Aaron Quast and Lana Barr at the last meeting.

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 hens.

After a 3-3 vote it went down in defeat.

Other agenda highlights are a presentation by the Penticton Urban Agriculture Association regarding the downtown garden.

Council recently denied a request for an extension of the site and advised the association that the existing license will not be renewed.

Members are hoping the council will change its mind.

The South Okanagan Ground Transportation Advisory Committee will give a presentation on passenger transportation services, Kelowna airport to South Okanagan Corridor.

As of Monday morning, a poll done by Castanet on the weekend, showed 469 votes, with 69.94 per cent voting yes, and 30.06 per cent, voting no.

A committee of the whole meeting is slated for Monday afternoon, on bringing an aqua park to Okanagan Lake, near the S.S. Sicamous.

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