Town of New Paltz considers letting residents have chickens
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. — The Town Board is considering revisions to zoning regulations that would allow residents to keep a small number of chickens.
The request for changes was discussed during a Town Board meeting last week, when resident Tova Weitzman said having chickens would help families reduce budgets by having a supply of eggs.
“If the voice of many people in this community is for sustainability and the economics of the family finds that collecting eggs saves them some money instead of driving to the farms and buying there it, should be factored into the consideration,” she said.
Weitzman was disappointed that board members spent more than 20 minutes discussing the request as a major change in agricultural law.
“I don’t want to jumble all livestock with three to five chickens in a backyard coop,” she said.
“We’re not taking about chickens flying to your (neighbor’s) lawn or whatever road you’re talking about,” Weitzman said. “No, they have to follow rules. They have to be confined, they have to be fenced in. They are limited by number.”
Councilman Jeff Logan said there are concerns that chickens will not be confined.
“You did mention that the chicken will follow the rules and I’ve yet to find a chicken that will listen,” he said.
Logan was also concerned that predators would be attracted to the area by chickens.
“Believe it or not, chickens (are) eaten by animals that I did not have at my house until we had chickens at two farms next to my home,” he said. “I never had coyotes out at my house and foxes.” Continued...
Logan suggested the law be updated to allow chickens as a special use permit in some zoning districts.
“Passing a law and changing the zoning laws would cost thousands of dollars,” he said. “What we can do is just use a public hearing, we can change the use table, and we can change the amount of fees. We can reduce (fees) from $750 ... to maybe $100 or $150 for a variance.”
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