Municipality seeking public input regarding kennel bylaw

Community Online First

STEWIACKE: An online survey is available to the public to give feedback to the Municipality of Colchester County as it develops a kennel bylaw.

The survey, geared toward the general public, will stay up until the end of December.

The municipality is looking for feedback from stakeholders, such as breeders, trainers, commercial boarding business owners, vet clinics, and rescue groups. Two open houses are planned for Jan. 16 at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre, one from 2 to 4 p.m., the other from 6 to 8 p.m. No formal presentations will be made at the open houses, however staff and advisory committee members will be on hand to talk with residents.

There will be a presentations night beginning at 6 p.m. Jan. 22 in council chambers, with the planning advisory committee.

Those wishing to present should contact the county office to have their name included on the presentations list.

On the county’s website (www.colchester.ca), a post says the survey is about commercial dog kennels as the municipality considers adoption of a bylaw in Colchester.

“This survey is one of the many opportunities that the general public and stakeholders will have to contribute their perspectives on this matter,” the website reads.

Back in August, the municipality advertised the second reading of a proposed kennel development bylaw and it caught the attention of many in the area.

A few days after the advertisement was published, and people began chatting about it on social media, the county issued a press release on the proposed bylaw.

The bylaw, said the release, was drafted following discussions about an application for a land use bylaw amendment to accommodate a kennel enterprise. Municipal staff was directed, by council, to consider options for kennel development regulation that would extend to areas not covered by the Central Colchester Land Use By-law.

“The staff review aims to ensure kennel development is compatible with existing land use,” read the press release. “As an interim measure during the policy review, a temporary by-law prohibiting new kennel development was presented to council.”

The first reading of the proposed bylaw was held during a meeting on Aug. 9. The second reading gave council a chance to examine the content and need for any proposed bylaw. During a second reading, the proposed bylaw can be adopted, changed, or rejected, the latter of which council did unanimously to the proposed kennel development bylaw. During the meeting on Aug. 30, council voted to send the issue back to the planning advisory committee for re-visiting.

The municipality’s latest newsletter, found on their website, states a March 2019 targeted completion date for the bylaw.

“An essential and up-front component of the review will involve a public engagement program that aims to understand the needs, concerns and recommended best practices of experts, stakeholders and citizens,” reads the newsletter.

The county’s survey can be found online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WYFY7Q5. Information and important dates will be posted to the county’s website (www.colchester.ca) over the upcoming months.

MAIN PHOTO: Two rallies were held over the summer opposing a proposed kennel development bylaw put forward to the Municipality of Colchester County. The council defeated the motion for the bylaw, and sent it back to the planning advisory committee for review. Two public information sessions are planned for January, as well as a presentations meeting, and the county has a survey online seeking information from stakeholders. The survey will be available at www.colchester.ca until the end of December. (File photo)