Town council to consider 12-year-old’s request for chickens in urban neighbourhoods



By Ron Giofu


A local 12-year-old is hoping the town can help him in achieving his goal of having chickens in residential areas so that his family can eat a bit healthier.

William Brush, a Grade 7 student at Amherstburg Public School, appeared before town council Monday night asking that the zoning bylaw be revised so that it can allow for chickens in residential areas. He believed it will not only allow people to eat healthier by providing organic eggs for the owners, but it will also help teach people where chickens come from.

While eating breakfast with his family one morning, they started talking about the subject and the residents of the Monopoly subdivision thought it was a good idea.

“The topic of chickens came up and we just decided we wanted them,” said Brush. “I just think organic things are better for you.”

Brush said accommodations can be made to allow chickens and neighbours to co-exist, including not putting the coop near fences and to ensure the area is clean. He said they hope to have three or four chickens and keep them in a coop in their yard.

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“If I were to have chickens, they would be in the middle of my yard, away from the fence,” he told town council.

Manager of planning services Rebecca Belanger said the current zoning bylaw permits three pets, but all have to spend time in the house at some point. Councillor Rick Fryer countered by saying that a chicken coop is like a house and they do go inside.

“It might not be a house people are living in but they do go in a coop at night,” said Fryer. “I’d be all for administration coming back with an amendment (to the bylaw).”

Councillor Leo Meloche worried about coyotes coming into town if chickens were allowed in residential areas. Fryer said coyotes already do come in as there are a lot of feral cats in town.

Council agreed to have a report brought back on whether an amendment to the bylaw is feasible and that should be back before council by the end of the summer. Brush said he is ready to go if council gives the go-ahead.

“I was hoping to do it over the summer but any time is good,” he said.

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