Focus Group Sessions: Hens and Bees
The City held two focus group sessions in fall 2017 to help inform recommendations that will be included in the first draft of the City's Local Food & Urban Agriculture Strategy. On November 30, staff met with hen owners to review and discuss current hen and coop regulations, and to explore potential bylaw revisions. On December 9, staff met with beekeepers to review existing regulations and discuss potential new allowances for beekeeping. Additional consultation on these topics will occur, including opportunity for public comment on proposed bylaw revisions.
The City extends a big thank you to the 296 people who completed Public Survey #2, which closed on May 15, 2017. Questions covered a mix of topics including local food access and consumption, definitions for 'local', community gardens, and City compost. Read what people had to say:
Public Survey #1 closed September 2, 2016. A total of 159 people completed the survey, which asked residents about how they participate in the local food system, challenges they've encountered with policies and regulations, and interests for future food pursuits. Read what people had to say:
The City is working to develop a Local Food & Urban Agriculture Strategy that will provide recommendations on how municipal tools, such as policies, regulations, and grants, can be improved to better support a robust local food system. Goals of the strategy include promoting food security, increasing local capacity for food production, and generating economic benefits that stay within our community. Financial support for this project is provided by the Canada-Yukon Growing Forward 2 Fund.
How is the City involved in local food?
The City has a number of plans, bylaws, grants, and services that support and regulate different aspects of the food system. Here are just a few:
- Community Economic Development Strategy: (pg. 11) Goal 1, Activity F: Facilitate the development of an agriculture and food production strategy
- Sustainability Plan: (pg. 37-38) Goal: Resilient, Accessible, Food System (view progress)
- Official Community Plan: (pg. 71) Objective 17: Support local food production
- Zoning Bylaw: Regulates land uses, including soil and non-soil based agriculture, and specifies development requirements and restrictions
- Animal Control Bylaw: Regulates animal keeping and includes development regulations for hen coops
- Environmental Grant: Provides financial support for initiatives that achieve sustainability goals, including food related projects
- Land Leases: Land is accessible to community and gardening associations through low-cost lease agreements
- Compost: Agriculture-grade compost is produced from organic waste and is available for sale at the Waste Management Facility
Valleyview Community Greenhouse.