Qualicum Beach reconsiders backyard chickens

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Qualicum Beach town council revisited the issue of backyard chickens at its July 21 meeting. Mayor Brian Wiese brought a notice of motion to have town staff conduct a survey to gather public opinion on people keeping chickens in town. 

In March, council voted to end the backyard chicken project and give owners one year to get rid of their animals.

“It sort of surprised a lot of us it went as fast as it did and the outcome was significantly different than I thought,” Wiese said about the decision, at the July 21 meeting.

He did not move to rescind it, although he wanted town staff to have a public survey completed no later than Oct. 30.

“If we get the survey back and people say get rid of backyard chickens, the motion as it stands, stands and we will get rid of backyard chickens. If the survey says we don’t have problems with chickens, then council will have an opportunity to discuss at that point,” Wiese said

Coun. Scott Harrison said he would support continuing the chicken project, even if community opposition rose slightly from the survey. “I actually rethought my position after voting on that and I do think it’s a good thing to have as long as we empower bylaw to deal with the one or two people who might be abusing the process,” he said.

Council voted unanimously for the survey, but the motion to end the project still stands. 

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