As this thread indicates, the RDOS is currently in the process (very slow process, admittedly) of updating "keeping of livestock" bylaws in Area F and elsewhere. One of the issues we struggle with in regional districts is the "uniformity" of our bylaws: should the rules in all rural areas of the RDOS be the same? In some ways uniformity would be tidier. It would certainly simplify bylaw enforcement. However, an argument can be made in favor of the idiosyncratic traditions and norms that emerge in neighborhoods over time. RDOS planner Chris Garrish has provided a good example of this from a public consultation in Heritage Hills (east side of Skaha Lake) in Electoral Area D. As you may know, Heritage Hills is a much newer neighborhood than the original West Bench. Here is Chris's email to me:
Thought you might enjoy this, considering the SH5 Zone is the same one that applies in the West Bench. The following are comments I received from a couple of residents in Heritage Hills in relation to the replacement of the Land Use Contract (LUC) with an SH5 zoning:
we feel this is “non-negotiable” due to the definition on Page 7 of the Area D-2 Zoning Bylaw. The mere fact that “Agriculture” includes producing and rearing animals and range grazing of horses, cattle, sheep and other livestock is utterly unacceptable. We see that you have restructured the minimum parcel size by moving them out of subsection 3; however, any slight window that would allow this to occur on ANY lot would be a non-starter. You mentioned a minimum parcel size of 0.4 ha under the current zoning and there being only a handful of parcels in Heritage Hills that would qualify for chickens or horses. You go on to say: “what extent is this going to be an issue in the future?” By leaving this in the zoning, we feel there is a ”window of opportunity” for this to occur; most people have voiced– they do not want to be the one living next door to such livestock. We do not want any type of livestock permitted in Heritage Hills. We welcome controlled cats and dogs by responsible owners. These are the only four legged creatures we wish to have in the neighborhood. Also, agriculture includes the growing or harvesting…
How do residents on the West Bench feel about horses, roosters, and so on? My own guess is that these minor annoyances have become part of the West Bench (much like the fruit signs: white plywood + red paint + misspelled words). That is, there is something to be said for "tradition" when updating bylaws.
Having said this, I live in Westwood Properties. I do not have horses for neighbors and may have an idealized view of tradition. As always I am looking for comments and suggestions.