Debate erupts over Rotterdam chicken law

ROTTERDAM, NY (NEWS 10) – Chickens can come home to Rotterdam. The municipality is considering a new ordinance. But not all neighbors agree with the idea. NEWS 10 were at tonight’s meeting to hear their comments after the planning commission issued a negative recommendation.

“I have a rodent problem because I live next to chickens,” said Rotterdam resident Dawn Wiggen.

“I think some of these things are just opinions and comments from those who are uneducated and misinformed about chickens,” says Rotterdam chicken owner Denise Lagasse.

So why did the chicken cross the road? Well, because the city of Rotterdam might just allow them to move in. Lori Van Nostrand from Rotterdam knows the chickens that live next door firsthand.

“And I’ve been here for quite a while. Like, over 15 years and the chickens have always been there. It’s no problem for me, they don’t bother me at all,” says Van Nostrand

The Planning Commission rejected a proposal to change Local Law 7 about a month ago in a four-to-three vote. Van Nostrand telling NEWS 10 the chickens might be a good thing.

“They can have meals. That you know, to help them. Farming is good,” says Van Nostrand.

The law will allow up to six hens on a property of 9,000 square feet or more. But no roosters are allowed. Chicken pens must be 25 feet from any property and prohibited in front or side yards. Chickens must be used for personal use. No sale of eggs, breeding or for food or fertilizer. This change closely mimics several regional ordinances already in place.

“If they’re following the rules and making sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to do as per the order, I think it should be fine,” Van Nostrand says.

While the city waits to see what happens, it’s unclear at this time when council members will vote on the ordinance.

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