The Town of Qualicum Beach council has voted against allowing backyard chickens in residential areas. (File photo)

The Town of Qualicum Beach council has voted against allowing backyard chickens in residential areas. (File photo)

No more fowl play: Qualicum Beach won’t allow backyard chickens in residential areas

Council goes against staff recommendation following pilot project

Qualicum Beach council has voted unanimously against allowing backyard chickens in residential areas.

The town initiated a pilot project on backyard chickens that ran from May 2017 to May 2020. There were 17 permits issued. Throughout the period of the project, the town’s bylaw department received approximately six to 10 complaints.

A staff report, presented to council at its regular meeting on March 17, indicated there were more dog complaints than chicken ones and recommended the permanent allowance of chickens to be raised in residential areas within the town.

Coun. Teunis Westbroek pointed out that there are more dogs in town than chickens.

“So I think that’s not necessarily a good comment to make,” said Westbroek. “I have never been in favour of having farm animals in residential areas. Some look after them really well but there’s issues of attracting rats because of feeds and other things, racoons. I think they belong to farm areas, ALR lands or larger properties.”

Coun. Robert Filmer also voted against allowing the chickens. He said he’s received complaints about them running loose.

“There’s residents not claiming their chickens and now you’ve got the bylaw officer with chickens that no one wants to claim,” Filmer said.

READ MORE: Anderson: When the fried chicken come home to roost

The town’s chief administrative officer, Daniel Sailland, participated in the pilot project and told council that they’ve learned a lot.

“My kids are involved in 4-H and the learning has been absolutely fantastic, ” said Sailland. “And the connection with 4-H to connect with agriculture that way, although we’re in a more urban area, has really been a positive experience. From my perspective, it continues to be something very good.”

Sailland said they followed the guidelines to keep the chickens in an enclosure and had no issues with pests.

“I know for certain living by the ocean I have no more rats than I had when I first moved in when I did not have chickens,” said Sailland. “So I think certain locations are always going to have pests.”

Filmer appreciated Sailland’s comments but did not consider it ‘appropriate’.

“We don’t allow residents to sit in our meetings and then plead their case to us if they’re in a pilot project,” said Filmer. “But we just allowed one of our staff to do that exact thing. I don’t think that was at all appropriate. “I think when we start looking at things like this, whether you’re a high town official CAO or elected official we all play by the same rules and regulations.”

Coun. Scott Harrison said they all express their personal experiences in council during a debate and did not find Sailland’s comments to be in violation of protocol.

“There’s no pecuniary interest in terms of a financial benefit to having two chickens in your backyard,” said Harrison. “So that’s not a conflict. Pecuniary interest can be construed as being different from that of the general public. There are members of the general public that does support it and there are members of the general public that do not. I don’t think it’s inappropriate to speak your personal experience. And he’s not voting on it.”

Owners of the chickens involved in the project were given one year to have them removed.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Animalsqualicum beach

Just Posted

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations celebrate legal victory in fishing dispute

Ha’oom Fisheries Society and T’aaq-wiihak Fisheries announce “major legal victory”

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

The hiring of out-of-province workers by the Canadian Red Cross to staff the vaccination centre in Langford has raised eyebrows. (Black Press Media file photo)
Red Cross hires out-of-B.C. workers to staff Island vaccination centre

Staffer worries local jobs weren’t offered to local people

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Housing crunch or not, it’s illegal to live in an RV in Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

One person has been arrested following an assault on a man with Down syndrome along Dallas Road April 17. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man with Down syndrome attacked along Victoria’s Dallas Road

Suspected assailant arrested, sent to hospital for mental health assessment

Victoria police arrested a wanted man April 19, seizing drugs, firearms and body armour. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Drugs, loaded weapons, body armour seized from Victoria suite

Man was wanted for the possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Most Read