Chicken plan hatches next month in Penticton

Application deadline for Penticton residents to take part in backyard chicken pilot project extended.

Pentictonites interested in keeping a few chickens in their backyard will have a couple more weeks to get an application in to take part in the city’s pilot project.

An upcoming workshop on backyard hens at this year’s Seedy Saturday, coming up on April 6, has encouraged project planners to extend the deadline.

“The way we originally set it up, all applications for having chickens in your yard, maximum of four, was for April 5,” said Coun. Judy Sentes. “But considering that this opportunity will be the following day, staff has reset that for April 15.”

Nobody Here But Us Chickens runs from 1 to 3 p.m. at Seedy Saturday. It’s billed as a presentation and panel discussion with conversation on the promises and perils of backyard chickens.

Though the city is not conducting the workshop, city staff will be on hand with applications and more information for those thinking about participating.

“We’ve heard from several interested parties that would like to partake in the trial chicken run,” said planner Jake Belobaba. “We will be present at the seed event as well, so we will be there providing information to anyone interested in partaking in the pilot project.”

Council approved the pilot project in January, but it was originally suggested by chef Chris Remington, who presented council with a 150-signature petition on Oct. 2012.

Council agreed to a trial running 18 months, with applicants allowed to keep up to four laying hens, but no roosters or meat birds. Belobaba wasn’t sure how many people would be taking part in the program, but said he expected there would be more coming in after the workshop  Seedy Saturday.

“The number is still undecided, we expect we will get quite a few more at the chicken event. We are still taking in applications so that number could be six to 10,” said Belobaba. “Within the next several weeks, council will be presented with a temporary use application, which will include the properties that are intending to proceed with the trial program and council will have the opportunity to approve it then.”