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At Monday’s Council meeting, Paul Hoepfner-Homme made a presentation to council to support the approval of keeping the hens in his backyard.   Jane Penney and Wally Keeler made related presentations after Paul that asked (amongst other things) “Why is it that bylaws are not uniformly enforced?” In this case, why Paul and not anyone else in town who has hens? Was it because Paul asked the Town about it first and got the OK so made it visible? The CAO said it was OK but not in writing.

Apart from the fact that prior verbal approval was being withdrawn, Paul (and others supporting him) made the case as follows:

  • The hens were more like pets than livestock – they had names and personalities and were very well treated
  • The coups were constructed to keep the chickens in and other animals out - like rodents, cats and other birds.
  • Any health risk was less than other cases (e.g. of Avian Flu) because of the quality of the coups, the small number of chickens and the spacious environement
  • Other municipalities (e.g. Quinte West) had passed bylaws permitting hens under certain conditions. It would not be hard for Cobourg to pass a Bylaw imposing these same conditions.

The public gallery was full to overflowing and the presentations favouring hens were warmly received. No-one spoke against the idea.

Council seemed to accept that hens might be permissible with the right bylaw. It would probably limit hens to a maximum of 5. (Paul has 4). A motion was passed to refer the matter to staff for a report and to provide an extension on the order to remove the hens until October 19.


Update October 7, 2013

The Council approved a motion to extend the hold until the bylaw reveiw has been completed.



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