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Grimsby to update bylaws to prohibit domestic farm animals near escarpment

A loophole in zoning has been causing concerns for residents near the escarpment in Grimsby.

At the council meeting on Dec. 4, Coun. Delight Davoli introduced a motion to correct the current bylaw prohibiting the keeping of domestic farm animals in Ward 1, up by the escarpment.

While the town already does not allow domestic farm animals, a zoning overlap with the Niagara Escarpment Development Commission may have accidentally allowed them in some areas.

“Our zoning bylaw is suspended under (the Niagara Escarpment Development Commission) and therefore we can't use our zoning bylaw to actually address these issues,” she said. “So what I am asking for in this notice of motion is that we ask staff to investigate and report back to us on what options are available to us over keeping a farm animals.”

Davoli reiterated this was specifically about residential areas, and people keeping farm animals as pets rather than on farms.

“The concern that some of the residents have brought forward is that because there are some farm animals being kept in residential areas — they have foxes, coyotes and so on coming into those areas — their pets are out and are being attacked,” she said. “The neighbourhood is feeling the increased presence of wildlife in the area because these farm animals are being domesticated and kept in that area.”

After some discussion about issues such as backyard chickens, Mayor Jeff Jordan brought it back and explained that Davoli was just trying to make sure the town had everywhere covered.

“I think what the intent of this resolution here is that we have an area in the escarpment lands that we can't enforce the way we have it now,” he said. “So we have to rewrite the bylaw so that is enforceable on escarpment lands.”

Davoli’s motion passed, and staff is expected to return with more information.

Abby Green, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News