Karen and Werner Grundlingh received more than 500 signatures on a petition to allow all lot sizes to have backyard chickens. Langford city staff is currently rewriting the bylaw to allow Langford residents with less than one acre properties to have backyard chickens.

Langford gets in line on backyard hens

The current bylaw was written in 1967 by the Capital Regional District, which enforced regulations in the area at that time.

After knocking on hundreds of doors and collecting more than 500 signatures, Werner and Karen Grundlingh can keep their chickens in their Langford backyard.

The friendly fowl were never a problem for the couple, until one day when they received a knock at the door. It was a Langford bylaw officer informing them they were not allowed to have chickens. They were told the hens needed to be removed by July 15.

Langford only allows hens on residential properties that are more than one acre (4,046 square meters).

For those with large enough lots, the current bylaw allows one hen for every 166 square metres.

The Grundlingh’s lot size is 890 square metres and they have two hens. They have cared for hens for two years now and say they didn’t even know about the bylaw.

After getting the notice in April they knocked on hundreds of doors throughout Langford seeking support.

“Most people we talked to were surprised that you couldn’t have chickens,” said Karen Grundlingh.

On June 18, the Grundlinghs presented their case to Langford council. Many of the couple’s neighbours attended in support.

After the presentation, council passed a resolution for staff to rewrite the bylaw to allow backyard chickens on smaller lots.

“With the 100 Mile Diet, more and more people are interested in this,” said acting mayor Denise Blackwell, who has been on council since Langford incorporated two decades ago.

Blackwell told the couple the deadline has been lifted and the hens can stay while the bylaw is rewritten.

The current bylaw was written in 1967 by the Capital Regional District, which enforced regulations in the area at that time.

charla@goldstreamgazette.com

Who allows backyard chickens?

• Metchosin

• View Royal

• Esquimalt

• Oak Bay

• Saanich

• Victoria

• Highlands

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