A Powell River resident is asking that roosters not be allowed to be kept within Powell River city limits.
At the November 17 committee of the whole meeting, councillors received correspondence from Leon Fisher, who lives in Cranberry next door to a large lot, zoned A1, where residents are allowed to keep 24 poultry, including one rooster, according to Fisher’s email.
“Late in October of this year, our neighbours in the A1 lot, who have been keeping two or three hens for several years, replaced their hens with one hen and one rooster, as allowed by the present bylaw,” stated Fisher. “Since then, we have been woken by their rooster crowing every morning from 5:40 to 6:15 am, then kept awake as their rooster continues to crow intermittently for the next several hours.
“After about 10 days with no change, the situation escalated to a rather sad event, in which my wife, the neighbour’s wife, myself, our tenant and the RCMP were all involved. Since then, I have kept and submitted a noise log as required by the Powell River city noise control bylaw. So has my tenant, who is also affected by the rooster crowing.”
Fisher requested that the animal control bylaw be revised to remove the allowance for a rooster to be kept within Powell River city limits, and that any allowance for an existing rooster to be grandfathered, should be removed.
Councillor Rob Southcott said he understands why roosters are permitted in the A1 zone but if the noise bylaw is clearly being violated, as he understands matters, it doesn’t matter whether the animal control bylaw is being complied with.
Committee chair and councillor George Doubt said staff members are reviewing the animal control bylaw. He said he has looked at other city bylaws about chickens and most of them, other than for agricultural properties, require that there be no roosters.
“I think asking staff to look at limiting roosters from certain properties other than the agricultural ones might be a good way to go,” said Doubt.
Councillor Jim Palm said when that rooster gets up early in the morning at the crack of dawn and wakes up the neighbourhood, he doesn’t think that’s fair to the residents.
“I don’t think roosters should be part of our city plan in terms of chickens,” said Palm. “I would like our staff that’s reviewing those bylaws to hopefully bring us something that will work for all residents.”
Corporate officer Chris Jackson said the animal control bylaw allows one rooster in some zones, and he said he believes that is the A1 zone, which is largely in Wildwood. In all other zones, no roosters are allowed. He said where a rooster is permitted, the city could enforce under the noise policy, in some circumstances, if two separate complaints were received. He said if council received the correspondence from Fisher, it could refer it for consideration under the animal control bylaw, which is currently being worked on.
Doubt suggested the committee provide unanimous approval to having the letter from Fisher considered in the coming changes to the animal control bylaw.
Southcott asked if the situation described in the correspondence was a potential violation of the noise bylaw.
Jackson said for an investigation to be conducted under the noise control bylaw, the city had to receive two separate households complaining.
“When two separate households make a complaint, we investigate,” said Jackson.
Councillor Maggie Hathaway said if the noise control bylaw is being broken, it needs to be investigated.
The committee gave unanimous approval for the correspondence to be considered along with the revision of the animal control bylaw.
“We hope that staff will continue enforcing the noise bylaw,” said Doubt, “in the appropriate way.”