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City of Castlegar moving forward with backyard chickens and bees

A public hearing is scheduled June 15.

The City of Castlegar is working towards allowing residents to keep bees and chickens on their properties.

A bylaw amendment that sets up guidelines for keeping the animals passed first and second reading at the June 1 city council meeting.

Allowing chickens and bees within the city has been before council numerous times in recent years. In 2017 the city launched a pilot project for backyard chicken coops and bee hives, but the uptake was minimal.

RELATED: Chickens may fly the coop

Two participants in the bee pilot are still keeping bees today.

According to a city staff report, the pilot project did not generate any interaction with predatory wildlife, there were no complaints from other residents and no incidents of bee stings.

Conditions for keeping bees will include applying for a license, obtaining a beekeeper identification number from the province, keeping hives behind the house, having a maximum of four colonies and having a minimum of 25-metre spacing from public places and electric fencing.

READ MORE: Mystery illness killing Kootenay bees

Only one resident participated in the pilot project for chickens.

City staff reported the participant had only one incident with wildlife which involved a raccoon. The situation was quickly remedied by fully enclosing the coop with chicken wire. There were also no complaints from neighbours.

There are a number of requirements associated with keeping chickens, which include obtaining a license, no roosters, a maximum of five hens only four months of age or older, electric fencing, a coop or pen with minimum size requirements per hen and keeping coops out of view from the street.

A full list of rules can be obtained by contacting the city.

The next step in the approval process is a public hearing which which will be held via Zoom on Monday, June 15 at 5 p.m.

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