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11.01.2011

More hens, please

Source: Daily Gleaner, Nov 1, 2011

The sky has not fallen, Chicken Little. It was last March when chickens were the topic of conversation in Fredericton - specifically the keeping of chickens in urban coops in the backyards of residents. Residents Hazel Richardson and Philias Cyr had each applied for a one-year temporary use variance to keep three egg-laying hens in their backyards, and it was up to the Planning Advisory Committee to make the decision. The PAC seemed cautious, but curious and willing to entertain the request. Some neighbours were OK with the whole venture, while others wrote letters of protest and attended the PAC meeting to voice their concerns. One neighbour was so concerned she put her house up for sale and subsequently sold it. In the end, the PAC approved the requests, the hens moved in, and more than six months later, a lot of eggs have been cracked, but the sky has not fallen. In fact, PAC members, during their yearly tour of approved projects, visited Ms. Richardson's coop last week and found that everything was in order - no complaints, no odour, no noise. Happy hens, happy neighbours, happy family, lots of delicious, fresh eggs, and happy gardeners who collect the droppings for their plants. This is a success story, and we want to say thank you to the PAC for giving this venture a chance, and to Ms. Richardson and Mr. Cyr for the courage to take on this experiment and make it work. More

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