Urban farmer facing fine for backyard chickens

Kevin Kossowan, a blogger, urban farmer and member of the city’s Food Council, received the notice Sunday after a neighbour complained.

A well-known advocate for urban agriculture has been issued a bylaw notice for having chickens in the backyard of his North Glenora home.

Kevin Kossowan, a blogger, urban farmer and member of the Kevin Kossowan, a blogger, urban farmer and member of the city’s Food Council, received the notice Sunday.

“I apparently have three days to rectify the situation which I find a bit unusually short … or they will issue me a $500 fine for having hens in my backyard,” Kossowan told the CBC’s Tim Adams Monday.

City council will consider making changes this summer to the bylaw to allow people to keep backyard chickens. However, animal control officer Sabrina Bergin says until the changes are actually made, poultry is still prohibited within the city limits. 

"I’m aware of the proposal to permit chickens within the urban setting. However we have not received any direction to tell us it is okay at this time," she said.

Kossowan says he has a good relationship with his neighbours and thinks the complaints may have come from some renters that just moved in.

Kossowan doesn’t plan to fight the city about the complaint as he believes the bylaw will change eventually. For now, he will move his hens to another location. 

“I think my actual issue is going to have to be diplomacy with neighbours more than it’s going to have to be trying to fight the city on this. I have no intention of doing that,” he said.

Kossowan has around 9 heritage chickens that produce about half a dozen eggs a day during laying season.

Clarifications

  • CBC News has since confirmed with the city that the bylaw complaint was not laid by a neighbour. The notice was issued by an animal control officer who was in the neighbourhood on an unrelated matter and noticed the chickens in Kossowan's backyard.
    Jul 22, 2014 11:36 AM MT

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