Tonawanda News

Local News

March 29, 2012

Updated chicken ordinance likely

— — It appears the North Tonawanda Common Council will soon vote in favor of continuing to allow residents to keep chickens on their property.

A lengthy discussion took place this week, with most members of the council tentatively backing a measure modeled after a 2009 initiative in the City of Buffalo.

The city does have an ordinance currently in place that dates back to the 1950s, which permits residents to have chickens in their yards, but the issue was not brought to the council’s attention for decades. There also is no longer a local agency in place obligated to look after the issue, should residents attempt to get a permit.

Until recently that hasn’t mattered. But now a resurgence in urban gardening and the keeping of chickens has sparked a local debate.

To the council’s knowledge, only one North Tonawanda resident has expressed interest in keeping chickens on their property, though Mayor Rob Ortt said he’s received correspondence from several other residents who have backed the idea since the issue has gone public.

“I was surprised,” he said, “They thought it would be a good idea.”

The council did voice concerns as to how they would revamp the city ordinance, what rules that would entail and how it would be enforced, though most agree they would support an updated ordinance modeled after a Buffalo template.

Niagara County is also considering adopting Buffalo’s codes, according to city Attorney Shawn Nickerson.

“They really had no procedure in place to address this either,” he said.

That would include a ban on roosters and slaughterhouses, limiting residents to five chickens per property, require the consent of neighbors on either side of their property and initiate a yearly renewal process.

“The neighbors may be in favor of it now but hate it later,” noted Alderman-At-Large Malcolm Needler. “I’d like to make this as stringent as possible.”

Nickerson said there is a possibility that the council would make an updated ordinance stricter than Buffalo’s. Those conversations will take place in the next few weeks, with a vote expected at an April 17 meeting.

Alderwoman-At-Large Nancy Donovan said she is most concerned about the city’s ability to enforce the code.

Third Ward Alderman Eric Zadzilka said he was worried that vermin may become a problem should the keeping of chickens become widespread. However, despite public attention given to the issue, Buffalo has a record of only five residents who subscribe to having the fowl on their property.

“I like the Buffalo ordinance,” Zadzilka added. “I looked it over and it’s pretty rigorous.”

1
Text Only
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook
Front page
NDN Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success