Urban Hens

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There is increasing interest surrounding access to fresh, healthy, organic and sustainable food. This has led to the popularity of “urban agriculture”, which is the practice of cultivating, processing and distributing food in or around urban areas. It can involve keeping hens in residential areas - urban hens - as a means of easy access to fresh eggs which has been taking place in a variety of urban settings in communities throughout Canada.

Background

In 2016, Council received a deputation from a resident encouraging the Town to regulate hens in residential areas.

On Aug. 14, 2019, Council received a

 regarding the regulation of hens in residential areas and directed staff to a conduct a public consultation program to better understand the issues and attitudes of residents about allowing urban hens.

Following the results of the public consultation program, staff will report back to Council before the end of 2019.

Current Status of Zoning By-law and Animal Control Licensing By-law

Section 5.24 of the Zoning By-law only allows hens on ‘Rural’ (RU) zoned properties with a minimum lot area of 0.4 hectares (1.0 acre). This severely restricts the potential to keep hens in urban/settlement areas.

Animal Licensing By-law 2003-0072 specifies that no person, other than a veterinarian is permitted to keep poultry, except on a ‘Rural’ (RU) zoned property.

Public Consultation Program

Urban Hens Survey

We are interested in your comments! A short online survey will be coming in September where residents can provide their feedback. It will also be available at various Town facilities.

Urban Hens Public Information Centre

A Public Information Centre (PIC) will be held at the ROC Chalet on Oct. 10, 2019 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Staff from Development Services and Municipal Law Enforcement will be available to provide information on Urban Hens.  

Additional resources

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Information

Comments and questions can be sent to Shayne Connors, Planner I, at sconnors@georgina.ca or by calling 905-476-4305, ext. 2442.