Sept. 19--Agricultural Advisory Committee.
The county will be hiring risk management inspectors to monitor properties which potentially could pose a threat in source water protection areas.
* Planning staff was moving forward with revising the zoning by-law which must be updated within three years after the Official Plan was approved. Staff was busy updating the existing zoning by-law and the first draft will hopefully be available to the public by December. The first open house will be held in either January or February. Mapping was underway, but must wait for council discussions and public input. Staff was not expecting any individual requests to make a zoning change because residents must go through the normal process of applying for a zoning change. Angrish explained that the Agricultural Advisory Committee would stay on for one more term to provide comments on the new zoning by-law.
* Member Sickle asked about the rules for keeping horses on a rural residential lot. Angrish replied that a rural residential designation did not allow horses or any type of livestock. She explained that the matter was dealt with on a complaint basis because the county was too large to monitor. The term "estate residential" was being changed to rural residential. Mayor Eddy commented that the current zoning by-law still used the term estate residential. Chairman Hodge added that the zoning bylaw will be updated to be in sync with the new Official Plan.
* Planner Angrish reported on the request from residents to raise chickens in a residential zone. Planning has been working with the legal department on the licensing of raising chickens in a residential zone and the method of allowing urban chickens. A round table discussion followed.
* Member Sickle commented that the maximum number of chickens allowed should be six.
* Member VanSickle added that it made little sense that horses were not allowed in rural residential areas but chickens would be in an urban setting.
* Angrish added that the matter was still under discussion and final recommendations had not been made yet. She posed the question to the committee that if everyone was allowed one or two chickens, would it affect agricultural business.
* Member VanSickle disagreed with the idea of allowing chickens in urban areas because of the noise and odours that could possibly affect the neighbours.
* Member McIntyre asked where the request originated from.
* Angrish went on to say that in the current zoning by-law chickens were not allowed but the matter would go back to committee in October or November. The request to change the by-law came from 4H clubs.
* Member Pate added that it was unsafe to have chickens in urban areas because of disease control. The members were in agreement that they could not support a change to the by-law to allow chickens in an urban setting. A motion by the committee followed, moved by Member McIntyre and seconded by Member Sickle, that the Agricultural Advisory Committee did not support the implementation of a by-law to allow urban chickens in residential areas for bio-security reasons and enforcement of the by-law.
* Sickle commented that he was concerned about roadside weeds because of a personal incident when a family member was forced to take evasive action when they met an emergency vehicle at the top of a hill that was traveling in the center of a rural road to an emergency call. It had been very difficult to move farm equipment with the amount of overhead tree limbs and brush at the side of the roads which created poor visibility. For safety sake, roads needed to be trimmed back to the edge of the road (the grass line) and branches to 15 feet in height.
* Members VanSickle and McIntyre both agreed that it was much better when the roads crews used to spray the brush but now they only trimmed with a mower which reached four feet.
* Member McIntyre questioned why the speed limit going into the Village of St. George had been reduced so far out of town. Member Sickle mentioned that the same problem existed going into Glen Morris. He further commented that Scenic Drive was 50 km per hour but on some gravel roads the speed limit was 80 km per hour.
* Member McIntyre questioned why the St. George Baptist Cemetery on Burt Road was in such a poor state of maintenance. It appeared that the grass had been cut but tree limbs and brush needed to be cut back. Member Guest added that the mulberry trees in the Mount Pleasant Pioneer Cemetery were overgrown and needed to be removed.