City council has rejected by-law changes that would have allowed urban hens in Grande Prairie.
Council turned down the proposal by a 5-3 vote. Mayor Given and Councillors Thiessen and Tarant voted in favour of the idea. Councillor Clayton was not at the meeting.
Crystal Lake resident Natalie Hibbert is one of several people to speak to council against the idea.
“As we see Canada allowing more urban chickens in the communities, we need to brace ourselves for the surrendered chickens and what that cost would look like. I’m also really not looking forward to the pests it will bring into my yard.” She says those pests could include rodents like mice. “I don’t live that far from an outlying area of Grande Prairie, so that will drag in more pests. I know that we’ve down-played how much that would bring in.”
Others in the crowd, and on council, brought up concerns over cleanliness, noise and odour.
“We have a large, very vocal community that wants urban chickens and I think that’s great and they did a great job on their research and working towards that. But, at the same time, there are individuals who didn’t even know that people were looking at that and when I started talking to my own neighbours about it, we all are in agreement that maybe it might not be the best for our community,” Hibbert went on to say.
Some ratepayers and council members also felt chickens were livestock and belonged on farms, not in the city.
The proposal would have allowed up to four hens for each permit holder, with a maximum of ten permits in the entire city.