Town Board to resume chicken law discussion
A town resident urges local regulations to keep chicken coops and runs sanitary and odor-free.
Town Board members expect to resume discussions on a proposed law governing chicken husbandry.
At a meeting Thursday, councilmen were asked by resident Nora Lomasney to resume consideration of the proposed regulations.
Lomasney said too much time has passed since an issue involving her neighbor’s chickens was brought to officials.
“My son contracted a very serious illness from chickens that were in our yard,” she said. “The last time we approached the board ... was in the spring. Are you coming forth on that to make an ordinance?”
The board conducted a public hearing last month on a proposed law that would govern chicken ownership in the R10 and R30 zoning districts. That session drew comment from Lomasney’s husband, David Lomasney, that it was too restrictive to require chicken owners to pay a permit fee.
“I want a regulation that ensures that neighbors keep their coops and runs sanitary and free of odors traveling into neighboring yards,” he said. “All I was asking is for no chickens in my yard and the pens must be kept so the neighbors cannot smell the chickens.”
Supervisor James Quigley said it was necessary to allow a 30-day comment period to lapse before considering changes to the proposed law. He added that the past month has been consumed by budget preparations.
“We are just over the month and, just so you
know, the (budget) document ... has been my sole focus for the last month,” he said. “We have some time now where we’ll be able to get this back on track.” The proposed law would: • Set a limit of six hens per property, with roosters prohibited.
• Require chickens be kept in a secure pen or enclosure, constructed and maintained to prevent the chickens from running at large.
• Limit pens to rear yards and require setbacks of at least 20 feet from property lines and 30 feet from neighboring houses.
• Prohibit chicken manure closer than 30 feet to property lines.
During the public hearing, resident Christa Montfort said the proposed law would unreasonably restrict the of the birds as pets.
“I have been responsibly raising chickens and a couple turkeys, rabbits, ducks for about five years now,” she said. “My yard is clean, my runs are clean, my chickens are contained, my neighbors are happy,” she said.