Backyard hens could soon be a reality in the city of Waterloo.
City staff are expected to recommend council amend a bylaw that would allow the keeping of backyard hens, subject to regulation.
It comes following a survey on the Engage Waterloo website, which garnered 527 responses. Of those, 63 per cent were in favour, 32 per cent against, and 5 per cent undecided.
Staff are recommending a permit for those wanting to participate in the residential project, and the following rules:
- A maximum of four hens
- Roosters not permitted
- The sale of eggs and other products associated with the keeping of hens not
- Home slaughter of hens not permitted
- Hens must be banded with owner contact information
- Application and subsequently a permit from the city would be required in addition to a one-time inspection
- Rental properties must have permission from the owners
- Setbacks for coops: 1.2m from rear lot line, 2.5m from side lot line
- Grading of lot shall not allow run-off to neighbouring yards
- The bylaw would include a definition of hens as being of the Gallus domesticus species (domestic hens)
Approval of the amended bylaw would be set for May 31. Other options include making it a pilot project, only allowing single family residences, increased setback, minimum lot size, gathering further information, or not going forward with the project.