Subject of chickens a scratchy one at town council meeting

Council discussion: CICV Radio Station requesting financial assistance, refunding $12,000 for children’s water spray park project

VIHA’s Dr. Paul Hasselback, Medical Health Officer for Central Vancouver Island, presented council with the results of a study, “Health at the Local Level.” The study, prepared in July of 2012, attempts to shed some light on community health in Area 66 (Lake Cowichan), including the many factors that contribute to and detract from it. These factors include economic status, child development, education, housing, social support and health services, and the results of the study can be found online at

Other items brought to council for discussion concerned a letter from Cowichan Valley Community Radio Society (CICV Radio Station), requesting financial assistance from the town as the station is having a hard time keeping its doors open.

CICV presently occupies the Ranger Station and is asking forgiveness on the $100/month hydro bill the town asked it to pay until it must vacate those premises in February 2014.

In a letter to the mayor, the society’s treasurer Lynda Rowland, says CICV has been approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to be a 50-watt station, which will enhance its coverage to a broader range of communities.

In order to make that changeover, they must raise $8,000 for the new tower and associated equipment needed to meet Industry Canada standards.

The town received a letter from Cowichan Success by 6 in Duncan requesting a refund of the $12,000 it provided for the children’s water spray park project in 2012. Although the town intends to pursue the project, it is currently waiting for approval of a grant application for the project, and hasn’t been able to complete the project in the time line set out by Success by 6.

The letter stipulates that when it receives confirmation from the town on the go-ahead for the project, it will strive to allocate the same funding from its 2013 budget.

Council agreed to implement the refund as requested.

The last item of correspondence on the agenda concerned the town’s bylaw on chickens. Lake Cowichan resident Becca Shears, who recently acquired chickens – after checking with her neighbours to make sure they didn’t mind – was told by chief administrative officer Joe Fernandez that the town had received numerous complaints about their chickens.

Fernandez cited the section of the Animal Control Bylaw (No. 926) which names chickens under the list of Restricted Animals. Section 11 states that restricted animals may not be kept on any parcel of land in the town of less than two acres.

These regulations affecting “restricted animals” have been in place for quite a number of years, Fernandez says, and the town is obliged to act on complaints.

In her letter, Shears states that she knows other people in town have chickens, and feels the town’s bylaws on chickens are antiquated, and would like to see the town move forward in this matter.