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Council not chicken over hens

Although the idea ruffled the feathers of some on council, a backyard hens pilot program was approved at Tuesday's meeting.

The Penticton council voted 4-3, after much discussion and hearing from both people planning to keep the chickens and some concerned neighbours.

"We are trying to create a pilot, where we have substantial information to make a decision on this," said Councillor Judy Sentes, a strong supporter of the program. "Let's let the plan happen."

Sentes, along with Councillors Andrew Jakubeit and Wes Hopkin and Mayor Garry Litke voted in favour of the effort.

Those opposed were Councillors Helena Konanz, John Vassilaki and Katie Robinson.

Robinson and Vassilaki were concerned about neighbours of those planning to keep chickens, not having enough say on the matter.

"This list never went out until just lately. The neighbours going into it had no say prior to us making a decision," said Vassilaki.

Four people did speak about their worries about chickens being kept at an address on Eraut Street.

They discussed noise, dust, not getting adequate notification about the plan and the distance the hens will be from their homes.

In response, Manda Maggs, the woman who is keeping the chickens at that location, apologized for leaving people out of the notification process.

"I understand their concerns and have put a lot of thought into where we want to put the chickens," she said.

The temporary use permit will be for 18 months, expiring at the end of November, 2015, for the 12 properties selected for the program.

A number of conditions have been attached to the hen keeping. Among them that no more than five hens may be kept per property, no roosters are permitted and proper cleaning and animal husbandry practices must be followed at all times. 




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