Town Chickens?

Curious chicken check in

At the last council meeting on June 16, staff presented us with a report because a few people have been asking to keep hens in the towns of Mississippi Mills. That would require an amendment to the Animal Control By-law. We decided to defer the subject and get more public input.

Please read the report linked below. I was not familiar with the term “galliformes” before. Sounds elegant.

http://www.almonteforall.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Animal-Control-Bylaw-permit-Hens-proposal.pdf

Growing up with chickens and turkeys, I know that they smell, they eat all day – chicken feed and bugs, they love dandelions, corn cobs and their dust baths and you can dress them up and cart them off in a toy baby carriage. They are not terribly noisy as long as there are no roosters. Like trains, roosters sound good only at a distance.

Our source of poultry was the municipal dump. When the railroad was on strike, my Dad got a couple of part-time jobs. One was cutting grass at the cemetery, and the other was supervising the nuisance grounds. The hatcheries used to dump what they assumed were “dud” eggs. But the sun would heat up the bags and my Dad would hear peeping. He had a very kind heart and would rescue the various hatchlings. We had two chicken coops at the farm and two gardens, plus brooder lamps and water dispensers and lots of straw. And three kids.

We made pets out of some of them: Shorty the Chicken lives on in bedtime stories I tell my grandkids; Mr McGoo the near-sighted male turkey and Jake the Turkey Hen who would come when you called her like our dog. Eggs and poultry were just a fact of our lives, and I can sympathize with those who might want a couple.

My concerns are that they need to be kept in a rear yard of a minimum size; there needs to be a decent set-back from the neighbours with attention paid to their needs for cleanliness, warmth, shade and protection from predators, and a good neighbour policy. Ideally you would get buy-in from your neighbours before embarking on it.

There is a pilot project in Toronto: https://tfpc.to/urbanhensto-pilot

There are blogs and news stories about them: https://www.treehugger.com/why-i-no-longer-have-backyard-chickens-4858560

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/urban-chickens-banned-in-ottawa-are-flocking-to-gatineau

I have not been contacted by residents about this personally, but I would like to hear your views and any suggestions. For? Against? You can contact me by email at jmaydan@mississippimills.ca or by telephone at (613) 256-7695.

Jan and Shorty

Proposed Changes to the Provincial Policy Statement

View of Falls on Mississippi River from Glass Street on July 22, 2019

On July 22, 2019, the provincial government announced proposed changes to the Provincial Policy Statement, called the PPS for short. This Statement sets the policy for all planning and land management policies below it, like the County of Lanark Official Plan and the Mississippi Mills Official Plan.

In 2017 and 2018, a number of meetings of concerned residents were held on the Natural Heritage Systems portion of the proposed Official Plan, while other changes went unnoticed.

This week the province is seeking input on proposed changes. The announcement of general changes can be found here:

https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-0279

The lengthier review (72 pages) citing the changes more specifically can be found here:

https://prod-environmental-registry.s3.amazonaws.com/2019-07/EN_PPS%20Proposed%20Policies_July2019.pdf

The comment period is open from July 22, 2019 to October 21, 2019 (91 days). Thank you to our Director of Planning, Nicole Dwyer, for providing notice of this announcement to all council last night.

Comments on Planning Regulation or Community Benefits Charges?

Certain Planning Changes

I discovered from a recent email from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario The Province of Ontario is seeking comments on proposed regulations under Bill 108 and issued this notice, which I discovered in a recent email from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario . You must provide your comments by the end of day on August 6, 2019.

If you are concerned about any of the following matters, please follow the link to read more and perhaps comment to the Province:

  • Expanding the grounds of appeal of a decision
  • Changes related to the community planning permit system (a framework that combines and replaces the individual zoning, site plan and minor variance processes in an identified area with a single application and approval process)
  • Additional Residential Unit Requirements and Standards – mainly changes related to parking requirements
  • Removing restrictions and prohibitions in respect of the municipal authority under section 37 (Increased Density) with inclusionary zoning

See the Provincial Notice here:

https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-0181

Community Benefits Charges

There is also an opportunity to comment on proposed changes to the new Community Benefits Charges, by August 21, 2019.

The Minister is proposing that the following types of developments be exempt from charges for community benefits under the Planning Act:

  • Long-term care homes
  • Retirement homes
  • Universities and colleges
  • Memorial homes, clubhouses or athletic grounds of the Royal Canadian Legion
  • Hospices
  • Non-profit housing

See this link for more information:

https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-0183

If you have any questions about planning matters, please contact the Municipal Office at (613) 256-2064 and the planners: Director Nicole Dwyer at extension 259 or Planner Maggie Yet at extension 206.