Pigeon flap finale: North Van votes on new bylaw

Fancy a pigeon as a pet? They’re about to be authorized once more within the District of North Vancouver.

District council members voted 5-0 Monday night time in favour of recent bylaw governing home pigeons. It caps off a controversial two-year chapter for council, which initially voted to ban the pet birds in 2019.

Quickly after, it got here to mild that Coun. Betty Forbes had lobbied Couns. Lisa Muri and Megan Curren behind the scenes to introduce the ban after years of complaints about her neighbour’s flock of pet pigeons.

In two lawsuits, each Forbes and Muri have been accused of battle of curiosity. Each denied any wrongdoing and fits have been dropped earlier this yr.

In February 2020, former info and privateness commissioner David Loukidelis launched his report into the matter following an unbiased evaluate. Amongst different issues, he really helpful that council shore up their coaching in ethics and oversight.

Council rescinded the ban final fall and sought to interchange it with a modernized model of the district’s authentic bylaw relationship again to 1971. The brand new bylaw handed Monday night time limits the variety of yard squabs to twenty and governs the minimal dimension and setbacks for his or her roosts. It additionally makes enforcement simpler for bylaw workers.

Coun. Jordan Again, one of many two council members who opposed the prohibition bylaw, mentioned he was glad to see issues largely put again to the best way they have been.

“This has definitely been a protracted and really expensive course of – one thing that by no means ought to have been introduced ahead within the first place. We have been by no means coping with a neighborhood concern,” he mentioned.

Regardless of the unbiased investigation and now deserted lawsuits, Coun. Mathew Bond mentioned he feels the neighborhood continues to be owed some accountability for the entire “frivolous” course of.

“I feel that leaving these points unresolved over the long run is detrimental to the integrity of this council,” he mentioned.

When council held a particular assembly on the matter final week, solely three members of the neighborhood spoke out: two who argued pigeons are a menace to public well being and one who mentioned she had no downside’s dwelling subsequent to her personal neighbour’s flock.

Mayor Mike Little mentioned his view that pet pigeons are higher suited to extra rural communities had not modified, however he additionally discovered the general public well being arguments “spurious at finest.”

“I feel it is honest to say that it is a pragmatic resolution to the issue at hand,” he mentioned.

Equally, Curren mentioned she has the identical perspective on animal rights now as she did when she voted in favour of the prohibition.

“However I’m against the method, and I advocated for this bylaw to be introduced again to a public course of in since Nov. of 2019,” she mentioned, noting that council did “fall quick” of the district’s code of ethics. “When we’ve got a chance to hear and to study and to do higher, then we have to try this.”

Coun. Jim Hanson, who additionally initially voted in favour of the ban, mentioned with solely two or three identified pigeon fanciers within the district, the problem wasn’t value any extra of council’s time.

“If the maintaining of pigeons turns into a neighborhood situation justifying additional involvement, little doubt we are going to hear about that,” he mentioned.

Muri and Forbes each recused themselves from the dialogue and vote.

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