Urban Hens were back in the spotlight at a City Committee meeting Tuesday.
A proposed by-law amendment that is going to council for discussion would see ten Livestock Exemption Permits for a trial year in the entire city. Each permit would allow four hens, but no roosters.
City officials believe that by October 2018, they will have a good indication of implications in the community, whether there were problems and if the number should be increased.
Rebekah Keyes with Grande Prairie Urban Hens says the number is disappointing.
“We want to see urban hens become a reality, a permitted process in Grande Prairie, so if it’s something we have to work through, I guess we will, but it’s a little disappointing,” said Keyes. “A number more like 25 would have probably been satisfactory for both parties and hopefully we can come up with a solution that is a win-win.”
Keyes also says that there are probably at least ten people who already have urban coops and there was a lot of interest at an open house held in March.
Grande Prairie Enforcement Services Manager Chris Manuel says there is not a set plan for enforcing the permit’s outlines as of now.
“We’re more or less looking at monitoring it from a complaint basis or when concerns were raised as opposed to like a scheduled ‘we’re going to be here every month to check up on you.’ In the first year, we might do the occasional inspection just to make sure things are going the way that we expected they were going to go.”
Manuel adds that typically, people are quick to point out to enforcement if a coop is built too big or if they have more chickens than allowed.
The permit would cost $10 per hen.