Chickens in a coop

The District of Kitimat is managing a pilot study to guide future decisions about backyard hen raising in Kitimat. Use this page to learn more about the process, about backyard hens, and how this study will support future decisions.

Project timeline

  • Timeline item 1 - active

    Updating animal control contract

    Month 1

    The District begins by updating the contract with Kitimat Community Humane Society based on the scope of this pilot project.

  • Timeline item 2 - active

    Deadline to apply for new households

    UPDATED | March 31

    Households that do not have existing backyard hens may apply to join this pilot project up to February 9. Applying will get you into the lottery used to select the 12 successful households. It does not guarantee a successful spot in the pilot program.

  • Timeline item 3 - active

    Deadline for existing households

    UPDATED | March 31

    Households with existing backyard hens may apply to join the pilot project up to March 1. Remember, if you have hens but are not part of this pilot project you can be subject to bylaw enforecement.

  • Timeline item 4 - incomplete

    Site inspections

    Month 3 to 5

    The Kitimat Community Humane Society will conduct initial site inspections. If needed, building permits will be applied for as well.

  • Timeline item 5 - incomplete

    Community Feedback

    Month 13 to 15

    At this stage, we will take community feedback about the project, and evaluate its success. This will lead to an eventual report to Council.

Overview

The origins of this project go back to August 2020 following a delegation from a member of the public who had requested consideration of zoning amendments to allow backyard hen keeping.

In November 2022 a survey on the subject of backyard chickens was conducted which supported an eventual report to Council at their October 16, 2023 Committee of the Whole meeting.

With Council's direction, District of Kitimat staff is pleased to move into this new phase of the project as we implement this pilot study.

Who can join

There are two groups who can be included. Everyone who participates must register for the program, and registration is free.

This pilot project affects these neighbourhoods:

  • Whitesail
  • Nechako
  • Kildala

Homes in Cable Car and in Strawberry Meadows are already eligible to raise backyard hens through their zoning.

Homeowners with existing backyard hens

If you already raise backyard hens, you must register to be part of this pilot program. Raising backyard hens while not participating in the program means you could be subject to bylaw enforcement beginning April 1.

Homeowners interested in raising backyard hens

We will select four homeowners from each of the neighbourhoods listed above.

These are the areas of the community where backyard hens cannot currently be kept due to zoning rules.

Persons interested can apply and the participants will be chosen by random lottery. See the following tabs for more details to join.

Registering (If already raising hens)

Existing households raising backyard chickens

The following outlines the registration process to participate in the pilot project:

  • Participants are responsible to ensure they are or can meet the regulations outlined in the policy.
  • Participants must submit an application form, in the prescribed format (click blue button below), to the Planning Department at planning@kitimat.ca or at Municipal Hall, 270 City Centre, Kitimat during regular business hours.
  • The application must include the site plan highlighting the existing principal structure, all the existing accessory structures, coop structure, run area and existing or proposed required fencing.
  • Participants will register all poultry in the flock regardless of age, gender, or number of poultry.
  • The Planning department is responsible for reviewing applications.
  • Application will be referred to Kitimat Community Humane Society and they will arrange an inspection meeting.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain all necessary permits in accordance with this policy and the Kitimat Municipal Code.

Deadline: March 31, 2024 (UPDATED)

Applying (If not already raising hens)

New participants to raising backyard hens

The following outlines the registration process to participate in the pilot project:

  • Participants are responsible to ensure they are or can meet the regulations outlined in the policy.
  • Participants must submit an application form, in the prescribed format (click blue button below), to the Planning Department at planning@kitimat.ca or at Municipal Hall, 270 City Centre, Kitimat during regular business hours.
  • The application must include the site plan highlighting the existing principal structure (residence), all the existing accessory structures, coop structure, run area and existing or proposed required fence.
  • The Planning department is responsible for reviewing applications.
  • Application will be referred to Kitimat Community Humane Society and they will arrange an inspection meeting.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain all necessary permits in accordance with this policy and the Kitimat Municipal Code.

Deadline: March 31, 2024 (UPDATED)

History

References to backyard hens at Council meetings:

  1. Committee of the Whole, August 10, 2020. - Link
  2. Committee of the Whole, August 31, 2020. - Link
  3. Committee of the Whole, October 16, 2023. - Link
  4. Special Meeting of Council, October 30, 2023. - Link
  5. Regular Meeting of Council, December 18, 2023. - Link

Updates

The feed

Notable updates to this program will be shared below throughout the course of this pilot project.


Contact Us

Reach out to our Planning department to learn more about this pilot project.

Email planning@kitimat.ca