Nakusp village council sometimes get calls and emails from residents suggesting new ways to better the village. Others write to grouse and complain. But it’s not every day they get sent a pre-written bylaw submission suggesting ways to legally phase in chicken-rearing in the village. Especially not from a 12-year-old.
But that’s what young Hana Cunningham of Nakusp did and council did discuss it at their meeting on Jan. 11. Nothing has been approved as of this point and council has sent it back for clarifications and improvements, but they are considering it.
So far the bylaw states its goal as a way to “encourage and regulate small-scale chicken-raising within the city.”
As of right now, chickens are not allowed to be raised within non-agricultural homes, such as Cunningham’s.
In an interview with the Arrow Lakes News, Cunningham said she’s wanted a chicken since Grade 2, but since she’s not allowed, she thought she might as well try and change that.
“They said you can mainly only have chickens in agricultural areas and such,” Cunningham said. “I wanted some, so I wrote it. I wanted to change the [bylaw].”
Cunningham is also looking for another unusual pet – a lobster.
Nelly Cunningham, Hana’s grandmother, said Hana absolutely loves pets, and more than just cats or dogs.
“When she said, ‘I wanted a lobster,’ that is so true,” she said. “She’s been bugging her father for a little lobster. She’s been chasing after this chicken bit for a long time, and right now she wants to raise a lobster.”
In the bylaw pitch, Hana did take into account possible concerns with having chickens within the village, such as noise, mess and possible disease.
However, she cites many other municipal bylaws that have taken these issues into account and manages them, such as Victoria and San Francisco. Council agreed to have CAO Bob Lafleur look into drafting a bylaw and looking into other areas around the valley that have done this before.
There was no discussion of a lobster bylaw at the Jan. 11 council meeting.