Welcome to Foothills County

Backyard Hens

BACKYARD HENS ON PARCELS UNDER 3 ACRES IN FOOTHILLS COUNTY

WHAT WE HEARD AND HOW WE ARE PROCEEDING

Backyard Hen Survey Results - pdf

 



BACKGROUND:

Spring 2019 Foothills County began exploring the idea of allowing backyard hens on parcels under 3 acres in size.

Foothills County does not currently allow the keeping of any livestock on parcels under 3 acres in size under the Land Use Bylaw.  However, many of our municipal neighbors allow for hens within their urban boundaries.

Consideration of backyard hens on parcels less than 3 acres in size in Foothills County would require amendments to the Land Use Bylaw.

The process of exploring backyard hens on parcels under 3 acres in size was initiated with a report to Council on what other municipalities in Alberta were doing with respect to the keeping of hens on smaller parcels.  Information was gathered from eight (8) rural municipalities consisting of those immediately surrounding Foothills County and other jurisdictions with similar size and densities within Alberta.  We also explored information from all five (5) of the urban neighbors within or adjacent to our County that we have Intermunicipal Development Plans with.

Council then directed staff to engage County residents for feedback in order to obtain a representative perspective on the matter.  In November 2019, the County launched the Backyard Hen Online Survey, along with information on the subject.  The online survey was made available November 1, 2019 and remained open for the entire month of November, giving residents one month to provide their opinion, suggestions, and additional feedback on accommodating backyard hens on parcels under 3 acres in size in Foothills County.

WHAT WE HEARD

We have compiled a summary of “What we Heard”, from residents through the online survey. 

Approximately 164 residents responded to the online survey.  30% of those respondents live in Hamlets in Foothills County.

Generally, the response for backyard hens on parcels under 3 acres in size in Foothills County was favorable. 

  • 77% of the residents that responded to the survey were in favor of allowing backyard hens on residential parcels under 3 acres in size within Foothills County, with 76% indicating backyard hens should be allowed on parcels within Hamlets. 
  • 60% of the Hamlet residents that responded were in favor of having backyard hens in Hamlets. 

The summary of “What We Heard” is available to the public and can downloaded here (top of page) or by request over the counter at the County office, 309 Macleod Tr. S., High River.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

The “What We Heard” summary was provided to Council at the December 18, 2019 Council meeting and staff has been directed to draft Land Use Bylaw amendments to allow for backyard hens on parcels under 3 acres in size outside of Hamlet Boundaries in Foothills County. 

The direction provided was to phase the project, allowing for backyard hens on parcels under 3 acres in size outside of the Hamlet boundaries as Phase I to proceed at this time.

Before proceeding with Phase II to allow for backyard hens on parcels within Hamlet boundaries, additional public engagement with individual Hamlets will be undertaken.

LAND USE BYLAW AMENDEMNTS

A public hearing for Land Use Bylaw amendments, including those for Backyard Hens on parcels under 3 acres in size outside of Hamlet Boundaries is scheduled for February or March 2020 - Stay tuned.


For more information contact: Coreena Carr at 403-652-2341 or email: coreena.carr@foothillscountyab.ca.