After more than a year of discussions and debate, the Town of Qualicum Beach council has agreed to allow backyard chickens in all residential zones within the community.
Council adopted the bylaw amendment at its regular meeting on June 29 that sets the guidelines for backyard poultry to be permitted in town. It includes a licensing system with a yearly renewal, setback requirements, a maximum of six hens, chickens or ducks, size and zoning requirements, and restrictions on slaughtering and sale of any products associated with backyard poultry.
The vote was 3-2 with Mayor Brian Wiese, councillors Scott Harrison and Anne Skipsey in favour while councillors Robert Filmer and Teunis Westbroek opposed.
Town planner Luke Sales clarified in the event the province bans backyard chickens due to health concerns, that restriction will supersede the town’s bylaw.
Skipsey also asked whether strata council policies can supersede any town bylaws.
“Strata bylaws can further restrict what’s permitted in the town,” Sales explained. “They cannot loosen regulation but they can further restrict. In other words, if the town says ‘you can have backyard chickens,’ a strata council says ‘uh, uh, you can’t have backyard chickens.’ That’s ok. You can’t do it the other way around. In other words, if the town says ‘you can’t have backyard chickens, strata bylaw can’t say ‘yes you can.’”