Cherie Maclure (here seen with her three children) is lobbying Sidney to allow backyard chickens. She actually kept a trio of chickens before a bylaw complaint forced her to give them up. (Submitted)

Cherie Maclure (here seen with her three children) is lobbying Sidney to allow backyard chickens. She actually kept a trio of chickens before a bylaw complaint forced her to give them up. (Submitted)

Advocate plucks away at legalization of backyard chickens in Sidney

Cherie Maclure, who has presented a petition to council in past, hopes Sidney takes issue seriously

A local advocate for allowing backyard chickens in Sidney says now is the time for the “community to stand together” and show its desire to allow a few backyard hens.

“There is a large number of people that are okay with having chickens and there are a few residents, who really want them,” said Cherie Maclure.

Sidney staff has said the Official Community Plan review will consider the issue of backyard chickens, a subject near and dear to the heart of the Maclure. In 2018 she presented council with a petition with some 300 signatures seeking to follow other Greater Victoria municipalities in allowing them.

“My two older boys came out with me and we just asked people around the school, people around the neighbourhood and that is what we got in three days,” she said. “If COVID-19 wasn’t a thing and I had more time on my hands, I am sure I could upward of 500 or 700 signatures.”

Maclure said council deferred her request to the OCP review process and she now hopes that the municipality will take the public’s desire to have backyard chickens seriously.

“I know other people have brought this forward to city council and I don’t know what we need to do to show Sidney council that it is time to make this change and that it is a good change to make,” she said.

Backyard chickens can help improve food security and ecological sustainability. As for concerns about cleanliness and noise, Maclure said her petition called for allowing three to four animals, a manageable number. While it is not clear how much of the Sidney public supports backyard chickens, the phenomenon is already present in the community. “I know of four different residents, who have backyard chickens, or I should say, backyard livestock, because one family has a pig as well,” she said.

RELATED: Sidney to consider backyard chickens during Official Community Plan review

Maclure also speaks from personal experience. “I have owned backyard chickens and it was fabulous,” she said. “We had three of them. They produced some lovely eggs and we never had any problems with rodents. We kept everything clean.”

Maclure had the trio for about a year, having acquired them after she had presented her petition and in full knowledge of Sidney’s prohibition of the animals.

“I didn’t want to wait an entire two years before they even started reviewing or taking [input] for the OCP, and it would be another two years from then,” she said. “I felt like four years was an awfully long time to wait to have a bylaw changed.”

The move sparked a conversation with one of her children. “That is when I explained to him, ‘well, you know, there is a very fine line, there is a grey area between bylaws and what is right and what is wrong,’” she said. “And if nobody complains, then it is not enforced, so we are not actually breaking the law until somebody complains about it.”

That moment came earlier this year when a neighbour complained.

While Maclure said her family initially acquired the animals for the food, they also helped her children learn about nature and to care for animals.

“It was a great experience and I am very grateful that I did it,” she said. As for the chickens themselves, they found a new home with family friends not far away in a community that permits them: North Saanich.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction in Oak Bay is nearly all focused on rebuilding new single-family homes and without secondary suites. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay nears regulation of secondary suites

Preliminary report hints there’s no preferred option

A senior official with Victoria International Airport says the airport is still researching COVID-19 testing regimes but predicts testing and screening will remain part of the aviation industry even after vaccines have rolled out. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria International Airport researching COVID-19 testing options

Senior official predicts ‘screening and testing will be around long after the vaccination rollout’

Sidney Pier was one of two sites in Sidney as the Netflix series Maid shot in Sidney in late 2020. The show starring Margaret Qualley was one of 38 productions shooting in Greater Victoria. (Bob Orchard/Submitted)
Head of Greater Victoria film commission warns of lost economic opportunity

Kathleen Gilbert said without full funding, region will not be able to attract productions

Registered nurse Sammy Mullally displayed a tray of supplies to be used by a drug addict at the Insite safe injection clinic in Vancouver, B.C., in 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Councillors call on Saanich address overdose crisis, explore options for safe consumption sites

‘There’s no vaccine for this problem,’ new action is needed, councillors say

New population estimates peg the population of Greater Victoria at 408,883 as of July 1, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Population estimates peg Greater Victoria’s population at 408,883

New estimates show regional population grew by 1.35 per cent

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

Most Read