Opinions about backyard chicken appears split: planner

Noah Needham checks on the eggs in his family’s chicken coop in early December 2021.

Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative

Sarah Baldwin says opinion seems to be split on whether backyard chickens should be legal in Plympton-Wyoming.
The town’s bylaws don’t permit farm animals within residential areas. But in 2020, a complaint about a backyard coop brought the Needham family to council hoping to change the bylaw.
Jon Needham said as a way to ease tension during the pandemic, the family started a small flock in their back yard, which backs onto a wooded area. When a neighbour complained, a bylaw enforcement officer came to the house saying the chickens would have to go.
Needham went to council to plead his case. Baldwin – the municipal planner – said there could be changes made and rules limiting the number of birds. But changes to the bylaws would have meant a public meeting. That was delayed, and the Needhams’ chickens were given a reprieve.
June 23, about 24 people were at the Camlachie Community Centre to talk chicken.
Those in attendance were split into groups to discuss the issue. Their thoughts were then put on post-it notes and placed on the wall.
Some of the comments were that backyard chickens are part of a movement to be more sustainable and many large urban centres have permitted them. They are more pets than anything else. There was a concern there could be a witch hunt for those who have the backyard chicken coops as complaints are made to the municipality. There are many who have backyard coops and have had them for years, despite the bylaw. 
If you still want to give your opinion, the Town of Plympton-Wyoming has a survey on its website that can be submitted. A report will be submitted to the Plympton-Wyoming Council at the end of July for its consideration.

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