May 8, 2019 6:14 pm

Orillia extends backyard chickens pilot by 4 years

Orillia's backyard chicken pilot project has been extended until June 2023.

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The City of Orillia is extending a pilot project that allows the owners of some properties to keep chickens in their backyard by four years.

The pilot, which will now allow people to keep backyard hens until June 5, 2023, allows for a total of 12 hen coop licences in Orillia.

READ MORE: Backyard chickens now allowed in parts of Toronto as part of 3-year pilot project

Only four have been issued so far, leaving eight licences up for grabs.

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“Extending the backyard hens pilot project another four years will hopefully encourage more residents to take part in the opportunity so that council can further evaluate whether to make the program permanent,” Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke said.

The licences are available on a first come, first served basis and come with a one-time licensing fee of $100. The regulations for the extended pilot project remain the same.

READ MORE: Residents cry fowl over 100 backyard chickens living in one of Victoria’s priciest neighbourhoods

A hen coop may be located on a property that is in a rural, residential or open space one or two zones. The property must be at least 500 square metres in area, and no hen coop is permitted unless a valid licence has been issued.

The original pilot, which began June 5, 2017, was initiated in response to requests from residents and to encourage local food production.

WATCH: Victoria community up in arms over neighbour’s backyard fowl

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