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Coun. Don Gibbon has only dissenting vote on backyard chickens

Don Gibbons.
Don Gibbon. - Frank Gale

The Stephenville town council is considering a proposed development regulation amendment and municipal plan amendment to include backyard hens in residential zones.

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The proposed amendments were put forward at the latest meeting of the Stephenville town council held on Aug. 2 and had just one dissenting vote by Coun. Don Gibbon.

He said council is looking at a two to five-year pilot project to see if it would work within the municipal boundaries.

Gibbon said he objected to it because to do otherwise would be hypocritical as back in 2013 he was part of the town council that voted to have a woman remove her backyard chickens at a property on Maple Street.

“I couldn’t vote for these proposed amendments when I supported the regulations we had back then,” he said.

Gibbon said he realizes chickens and hens are like pets to some people but often they are bothersome to neighbours and you have to respect their rights as well.

The four other council members in attendance: Mayor Tom Rose, Deputy Mayor Susan Fowlow, Coun. Maurice Hynes and Coun. Mark Felix voted in favour of the proposed amendment.

Couns. Laura Aylward and Mike Tobin were not in attendance; however, during a telephone interview Tobin said he would have voted against the amendment and will be doing so when it comes back to the table during further.

He said he doesn’t see the need for more amendments to the Town of Stephenville Development Regulations that were adopted in June of 2016.

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