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Tuesday , 29 September 2020

Chickens, in-law suites, on St. Paul ‘hot topics’ survey

Chickens is on the agenda of a new survey from the Town of St. Paul.

The three question survey of ‘hot topics’ was prepared by municipal staff to focus discussion for an upcoming telephone town hall meeting about the Town’s land use bylaw.

The survey draft presented to and approved by council on Monday night, asks yes or no questions about allowing backyard chickens, in-law suites, and permitted commercial uses.

It also has an open-ended comments section at the end.

“I like that this is a short form, simple question because anything I get involved in the questions would be too detailed and too much. I like the simplicity of do you feel more commercial uses would be good. It’s a broad question. The chicken one is a bit on the side, but it’s important to ask,” said Coun. Nathan Taylor.

The survey, now open, closes on Wednesday, September 23.

Town of St. Paul CAO Kim Heyman said the town has taken a number of calls about chickens in recent weeks.

“I think there was a couple of roosters involved,” said Heyman in an interview after the meeting.

“Our CPOs [Community Peace Officers] dealt with it appropriately, but I think it needs to be clearer in our bylaws as to what you can do. A lot of communities do allow chickens but they’re very specific.”

According to Heyman, the purpose of the survey is to focus the discussion, “so that when we have a public hearing…we’ll have stuff on the agenda to get the discussion started on things we already know are relevant to people.”

Mayor Maureen Miller called the survey a good start, and noted that the comments section could also be quite fruitful for people to bring up other issues they would like to see addressed.

A motion by Taylor to approve the survey as presented was carried.

The date for the telephone town hall has not been scheduled, but is expected to be sometime in October according to the information presented to council.

About Meredith Kerr

Meredith Kerr moved to St. Paul for a career in journalism and morning radio in 2014 expecting to stay for six months to a year. Since then, she has put down roots in the form of a husband, a mortgage, two babies, and a poorly behaved dog. She continues to work as a reporter until such time as she finishes her book and becomes fabulously wealthy from the royalties. Meredith also serves as a member at large on the St. Paul Library Board and volunteers as a Beaver leader for the 1st St. Paul Scout Group.