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Nine years in, Kingston’s backyard hens bylaw a success

As of this week, it has been nine years since the City of Kingston’s backyard hens bylaw was approved, and, according to the City, the program has proven to be a success on several fronts.

Dan Hazell, Supervisor of Licensing and Enforcement for the City of Kingston says that the hen coop program is going well. “(The backyard hens bylaw) has been successful to date. The City has continued to license hen coops on an annual basis since the program’s launch as a pilot 9 years ago. Keeping backyard hens continues to be a viable option for many residents looking to produce their own eggs at home,” says Hazell.

Hazell says that complaints have been minimal and usually pertain to homeowners keeping hens without a permit, as opposed to nuisance complaints about the hens themselves.

The City of Kingston says that there are currently 23 active hen coop permits in the City at this point in time, with a total of 110 hens amongst them.

“Last year there were an additional 22 coop permits that have not yet been renewed for 2020 – we expect that renewals might be affected by the current COVID-19 situation,” says Mark Nardi, Communications Officer with the City of Kingston.

“It has been noted that the backyard hen program has offered a number of benefits to participants, including promoting food security and sustainability through an emphasis on community-based food production and sharing; health and wellness benefits, by allowing residents access to fresh, nutritious eggs (a source of protein and vitamins); and educational value, by promoting awareness of urban agricultural practices as well as fostering teamwork and responsibility in families,” says Nardi.

Residents who are interested in keeping hens on their private property are encouraged to visit the City’s website for more information or to e-mail the Licensing Department at [email protected] for assistance.

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