Egg-cellent news; chickens now permitted in the Town of Saint Andrews

SAINT ANDREWS – Residents of Saint Andrews are now allowed to raise chickens so they can have farm-fresh eggs daily. Town Clerk/Senior Administrator Paul Nopper said the process to change the zoning bylaw to allow people to raise chickens was a long one that was originally brought up during discussions within the municipal plan and the bylaw zoning process over the last three years. The zoning bylaw, put together by planners at the Southwest NB Service Commission, included several ideas and suggestions, including allowing residents to raise chickens for private use.

One of the steps in the process was to receive public feedback. Nopper said for the most part, feedback from the community was positive, with only a few negative letters received.

“I can tell you council debated it a number of times on chickens…to allow it to remain within the zoning bylaw unless there was massive public feedback to say otherwise,” said Nopper. “From our processes, we only received a couple of letters objecting to chickens within the town. We also received a number of positive letters in response to having chickens in town.”

Nopper said chickens are becoming more and more popular in many communities, because they are easy to raise and keep. Many people are looking at ways to save money on grocery bills, including vegetable gardens and raising chickens for their eggs. These are just a few of the aspects that council looked at before finally making the decision to allow residents to raise chickens on properties within town limits.

“When council moved the zoning bylaw to third reading on March 15, chicken coops and chickens were allowed to be in town.”

According to Nopper, residents can’t just go out and buy chickens and put them in their yards. There are several regulations that must be adhered to in order for people to be allowed to have chickens on their properties. He said all of the necessary information is available on the Town of Saint Andrews website, as well as on the Town of Saint Andrews Facebook page.

The main regulations under this zoning bylaw include allowing chickens to be kept as pets or for personal use only, and that no person who is raising chickens may sell eggs or engage in “chicken breeding or fertilized production”. Slaughter of chickens is also prohibited. Residents may only have female chickens (hens); no roosters are allowed. The maximum number of chickens any resident may have is four.

“Chickens must be kept in an enclosure or a fenced area at all times, and shall be secured within those enclosures during non-daylight hours,” said Nopper. “The enclosure or structure mentioned must be located in the rear yard, and located within 10 meters or 33 feet from the side or rear lot lines. Chickens must not be kept in, upon, or under any structure used for human habitation. So, you can’t have chickens in your house.

“Chickens shall be kept in a manner to ensure that they do not create a nuisance and all lands and premises are kept is maintained and in a sanitary condition at all times, that includes their excrement. It’s not permitted to accumulate. The last thing is every property owner will have sufficient space for the coop and their chickens.”

Nopper said planners have developed a map of the town, highlighting where chicken coops can be placed. Residents are advised to contact the Southwest NB Service Commission to ensure their properties meet the standards necessary for chicken coops.

Nopper, who lives in Chamcook and doesn’t fall under the Town of Saint Andrews bylaws, said he doesn’t plan on raising chickens himself.

“I could have chickens if I wanted to. I’ve got other projects I need to get through first before I can look at chickens,” Nopper laughed.

sarigreen@stcroixcourier.ca