• James Armstrong

Legalizing urban chickens in Saint-Lazare


THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/ITZEL VAZQUEZ

Backyard chickens, permitted in a number of towns in Vaudreuil-Soulanges, help keep the garden clean of bugs and slugs and can also eat table scraps.

The urban chicken paperwork known as Regulation 1062 moved a step forward in the process of becoming a reality at a public information session held at Saint-Lazare’s Town hall on Tuesday, March 19.

Some details

The regulation limits the maximum number of chickens permitted per single-family dwellings to five birds. The single family home must be situated on a 700 square meter lot or larger to be considered for raising chickens. The size and placement of chicken coops and attached enclosures are also specified providing a basic minimum amount of space for each chicken. The allowable total height for the chicken coop and the run enclosure is set at 2.5 metres.

Posting of signs indicating chickens are present in the area is not permitted and the sale of eggs or any other chicken products such as manure is strictly forbidden.

Anyone wishing to raise chickens on their lot will have to apply for a $25 permit from the town and comply with the regulations.

Residents respond

The group of about 30 residents who were present on Tuesday evening provided a number of suggestions and comments. Former town Councillor Denis Briard pointed out the care and maintenance of chickens requires specialized veterinary services, that various diseases have been known to spread to humans via chickens, and they are a target for a variety of wildlife predators such as foxes and coyotes. He also questioned where the town had obtained the information for the new regulation.

“We have the luxury of not being the first municipality to have urban chicken regulations. This has given us the opportunity to see what is being done elsewhere,” said Mayor Robert Grimaudo. He said the town would provide potential urban chicken farmers with documentation and workshops on the care and maintenance of the birds. Chickens and noise issues for neighbors was also an issue raised. Briard noted the town has regulations concerning noise and complaints should be directed to them.

PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Although not against the urban chicken legislation, Saint-Lazare resident and former Councillor Denis Briard brought council’s attention to some of the underlying problems of keeping chickens in town.

Proposed regulation in early summer

“We had lots of great suggestions from the public consultation,” the mayor told The Journal the morning after the meeting. “Council will consider them in caucus. Sometime this coming summer the regulation will be approved and we will have urban chickens.”

Proposed zoning changes

The public consultation also covered two other regulations dealing with zoning changes. The first, Regulation 1063, modifies the limits of existing Zone C 188 on the south side of Chemin Sainte-Angélique between Leduc and Charles-Goulet Streets. The new regulation also creates two new Zones, C 343 and C344. The changes in zoning are aimed at reducing the density requirements for the area. Briard asked the mayor to issue a citywide building moratorium while it creates an urban development plan.

“We have been asked to do that several times,” said the mayor adding that council would consider the idea in caucus.

Regulation 1064 deals with a zoning change in Zone C 294 on the south side of Cité-des-Jeunes between Monarques Street and Chemin Sainte-Angélique. The change would authorize larger commercial buildings.

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