Qualicum Beach Mayor Brian Wiese wants to take another look at backyard chickens.
Wiese put a notice of motion at the town’s regular meeting on Wednesday (April 7) asking council to rescind its March 17 decision to end a backyard chicken pilot project and inform participants they have a year to get rid of the chickens. It also directs staff to conduct a community survey to solicit feedback on permitting chickens within the town.
A decision was not made on the motion, but Coun. Teunis Westbroek suggested the matter be deferred for when they have a full council. A byelection will be held on May 15 to fill the vacant council slot, open since Adam Walker left after being elected as the MLA for Parksville-Qualicum.
“I think this could be another (2-2) tie vote and nothing happens,” said Westbroek. “But in fairness to your motion and others who feel that way, I think to have it considered in June would be more appropriate.”
Coun. Scott Harrison had no problem moving the motion and pointed out many people in the community want council to give the issue another serious consideration.
But Wiese preferred it remain a notice of motion as it will give town staff more time to collect feedback from the community.
“That’s what I am looking for,” said Wiese. “Notice of motion doesn’t necessarily mean I have to put it on the next agenda. I think I’ll bring it back in future agenda but the notice of motion is there.”
The town initiated a pilot project on backyard chickens that ran from May 2017 to May 2020. There were 17 permits issued.
On March 17, council discussed the pilot project but were not able to advance a proposed bylaw that would allow backyard chickens in residential areas, as the vote ended in a 2-2 tie.