Thursday, 14 April 2011

Possible Petition/Proposed Amendment

Below is a potential petition with my proposed amendments that I have drafted up to see if there are others within the community who feel as I do. I haven't printed it off yet as I was hoping for some feedback or possible changes if needed.

Petition for Amendment to be made to By-Law#

Petition Summary and Background
Our current by-laws state that residents are not allowed to keep poultry in their backyard if they live in a residential zone. That by-law needs to be amended to allow residents to have a minimal number of hens (not roosters) on their property with proper regulations in place. Over 300 hundred North American cities have by-laws permitting residents to keep the traditional farm animal within city limits. The chickens are kept to lay eggs, for consumption, to dispose of kitchen scraps, eat bugs, turn soil and even weed gardens. Common misconceptions that chickens smell, attract rodents and are noisy are just that, misconceptions. Regular coop cleaning, keeping feed off the ground, and the fact that it is the rooster that is noisy, not the hen, should put these concerns aside.

Action Petitioned For
Based on research the amendment specifics that we are asking for are as follows (taken from proposal to the City of Kingston )

Anyone wishing to keep backyard hens must first register with the Building & Licensing Division:
  • A maximum of 8 hens are permitted on any one residential property
  • The keeping of roosters is prohibited
  • The owner of the hens must reside on the property where the hens are kept
  • Hens must be kept in their coops at all times
  • The keeping of hens is only permitted in residential and approved agricultural zones
  • Tenants must obtain permission from the property owner to keep hens on the owner's property
  • The maximum size of a chicken coop shall be no greater than 3 x 3 metres
  • Coops must not be greater than 4.5 m in height
  • Coops must be constructed at grade level and the entire roof structure of the coop must be enclosed
  • Coops must be built to allow easy access for manure removal
  • Hen coops are not permitted in any front or side yard
  • Deceased hens shall be disposed of at a livestock disposal facility
  • The sale of eggs, manure and other products associated with the keeping of hens is prohibited
  • Hen coops must be a distance of at least 1.2 m from the rear lot line and at least 3 m from any side lot line of the dwelling lot on which the hen coop is located
  • Hen coops cannot not be located any closer than 15 m from any school
  • The hen coop cannot be located any closer than 7.5 metres from any church or business
  • Coops must be a minimum distance of 3 m from all windows and doors that are located on an abutting property
  • Coops must be maintained in a sanitary condition and the coop must be kept free of obnoxious smells and substances
  • Manure must be stored in the coop and in a fully enclosed structure such as a compost bin
  • Food and water must be kept in a secured coop and leftover food must be removed in a timely manner


  1. Good luck Alia!
    We had chickens for a couple days, and the kids liked them. They are very messy tho- (lots of poop).
    Are there any guidelines for yard fencing (for if you let them run around the yard?)
    Ours got eaten by the neighbours dogs. So you might want to really look into their safety if you let them roam your yard (which would be nice for the chickens and kids)
    I can't wait to see how you do with this!

  2. Good luck! It looks great!
    I was planning on getting some hens this summer too, guess I need to look into our bylaws too....they may even be the same (is Smithville part of Lincoln?).
    If so then I will definitely sign a petition.

  3. Good write up.

    You should probably do a scale drawing of your yard and make sure having a hen coupe is still desirable based on the regulations you are proposing.

  4. Thanks Guys! Gerry, great idea for the scale drawing. I have just finished one and am happy that I think we can easily accommodate a coop in the backyard based on the proposed amendments.