Town to get all its ducks in a row
By Lyonel Doherty
Members of town council don’t know much about ducks, but they will soon.
More information is coming from town staff as the municipality continues to wrestle with allowing domestic ducks within its boundaries.
A local family has requested that the Animal Control Bylaw be amended to allow them to have ducks on their property. The bylaw doesn’t allow ducks but permits chickens.
Councillor Dave Mattes asked if the amendment would limit the ducks to a specific breed or type. He also wanted to know if bylaw enforcement personnel would have to be trained to identify the different breeds.
“Once you say ducks, it’s wide open,” Mattes said.
He then asked, if the town received a request from someone to have emus or ostriches because their eggs are larger, would council consider that too?
Director of Development Services Randy Houle said yes.
Mattes said the family’s request to amend the bylaw stems from an actual complaint against them.
But Councillor Petra Veintimilla said it sounds like ducks are less bothersome than chickens (based on the letter from the family). She noted that her neighbours have chickens that don’t offend anyone too much.
Veintimilla suggested giving the family a temporary use permit while council researches the matter.
But Houle said staff would not be enforcing the current bylaw while it is being reviewed.
Councillor Aimee Grice said she owns chickens, but after reading the family’s letter, “I think I wish that I had ducks instead. It sounds like a better fit for a backyard.”
Mattes said council hasn’t had any complaints about chickens, just ducks in this case, which means there is a problem. (Staff did not know the nature of the complaint.)
“I caution council that this is complaint driven; we need to bear that in mind.”
Mattes was the only councillor on Monday to oppose seeking more information on the application.