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Council looking for input to set hobby farm rules

By Patrick Newhook/February 10, 2022

The Town of CBS is looking for public input in developing a new policy to regulate hobby farms.

Councilor-at-large Rex Hillier, who chairs the Town’s planning committee, admitted council has struggled with how to best handle the activity, which has been growing the past few years.

“This is something that we’ve at times certainly struggled with at the committee level in terms of what’s adequate and what spaces are adequate what types of animals and numbers are adequate in various areas of town,” said Hillier. “There was some work undertaken back in 2017, (but) it has not been formally accepted into our regulations and bylaws of our town plan.”

Councilor-at-large Paul Connors welcomed the effort to solicit public input and said the information will help council make new regulations.

“This is an opportunity for residents to come out and let us as councilors know, through the consultation process, how they see agriculture or hobby farms or urban agriculture develop and regulated throughout our town,” said Connors. “It’s a challenge right now as to how we regulate it, so hopefully residents will come out, it will be an opportunity for them to come out and speak about hobby farms and give council some direction.”

Councilor-at-large Joshua Barrett agreed with Connors and encouraged people to voice their opinions.

“I believe I’ve been at every farm or hobby farm that’s been purposed thus far and honestly it’s been a great learning experience regarding what works and what doesn’t, and i’s only because you’re chatting with these folks,” said Barrett. “I follow with what councilor Connors said and really encourage folks (to participate). There’s a lot of things that we want to ensure makes a successful hobby farm.”

Mayor Darrin Bent said regulation is needed and one set of blanket rules won’t work for everyone.

“This is one of those issues that not one size fits all,” said the mayor. “There has to be some boundaries and some regulations as to how we go forward and I think we want to be able to allow people that are in proper positions to do things to do it.”

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