Tonawanda News

Local News

March 26, 2013

Residents lobby for chicken law

Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — Locals persisted Monday night with their fight to change the town’s ordinance prohibiting them to raise chickens on their residential properties. 

Members of the Byrnes family previously submitted a draft of a law that would do away with the ban, and came back to Monday’s meeting to again urge the board to approve the legislation. 

“I just would like to encourage you to consider it,” Jeff Byrnes, of Avon Road, said. “I know a lot of communities have looked into it — probably some rural, but urban, too.” 

The proposed law would include provisions to prohibit raising chickens for commercial purposes, roosters, breeding and chickens in the front yard.

In addition, the number of chickens on a property would be limited to six. Feed would have to be stored in secure containers and the chickens would have to be in chicken coops or fenced and walled enclosures.

Byrnes said he now has 42 signatures from town residents on a petition in support of the draft, but the board’s response Monday night was less than enthusiastic. 

“We have a lot of people calling and saying they don’t want any chickens,” Supervisor Anthony Caruana said, after noting that the board hasn’t decided whether to vote on the draft. 

Caruana and the board previously expressed concern about the chickens’ noise, smell and the possibility of the animals attracting rodents — as the town has invested a good deal of money in garbage totes to control the area’s rodent problem.

And Monday, board member Joseph Emminger brought up another concern. 

“We do have some air issues in the town, we think it affects humans,” he said, citing health concern’s at the hands of the many industrial plants in the town.  “What’s it going to do to chickens? What’s going to happen to them five years down the road? And we are going to eat those eggs.” 

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