By Lorne Eckersley
The Town of Creston is inviting public input before it decides what about the issue of backyard chickens or, specifically, hens.
While there are Creston residents who already keep hens for their eggs, a new bylaw will be required to make them legal. The issue came to the forefront during the Covid-19 outbreak and quickly emptying store shelves pushed a discussion about the need for local food security and availability. A number of residents have expressed an interest in keeping hens and others have continued the practice, primarily in more rural areas of town.
“Through previous public consultation, inquiries and correspondence, the Town has received several queries regarding backyard hens”, Ross Beddoes, Director of Community Services, said. “We have had an increase in the amount of inquiries since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as residents search for more local food sustainability”, he added.
“Keeping backyard hens within the Town of Creston is certainly a complex issue”, Mayor Ron Toyota said. “The decision is multi-faceted which makes it all the more important to hear all perspectives from as many of our residents and property owners as possible. No decisions have been made on this matter. Council looks forward to seeing the results of this public consultation”.
Last a week residents opened their mail boxes to find a flyer with a survey they are invited to fill out. The completed surveys must be returned by June 7th. An online survey is also available.
“There are several ways for Town residents and property owners to participate in this consultation”, Beddoes said. “Complete the survey online, mail or deposit the paper survey into our drop box in front of Town Hall, or send a scanned copy or photos of your completed survey to us via email – firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Hens’ as the subject line – we welcome and appreciate your input.”
Toyota said that Town Council will undertake further discussion on the matter when the survey results and other responses have been compiled.