Rotterdam Chicken Weighing Ordinance – The Daily Gazette
ROTTERDAM — Chickens may soon be allowed in the city.
City Council will hold a public hearing on Wednesday on a proposed ordinance that would allow single-family dwellings with at least 9,000 square feet of land space to own up to six laying hens. Chickens are currently prohibited under current zoning requirements in Rotterdam.
Last month, the city council sent the bill to the Planning Commission for review, which provided a negative recommendation in a 4-3 vote.
“The Planning Commission believes that this proposed incidental use will impact neighbors and cause problems related to sanitary conditions, notwithstanding the proposed laws requirement for regular cleaning,” reads the recommendation.
If approved, the proposed law, which mirrors legislation in Niskayuna and Guilderland, would require residents interested in keeping chickens to first acquire a permit from the city that must be renewed annually for a fee that would be determined at a later date.
A “well-ventilated, predator-resistant structure” would be required to house the animals at all times, which must include a minimum of 4 square feet of space per chicken. A chicken coop requiring a minimum of 10 square feet of space per chicken would also be required, by law.
Roosters would be prohibited.
Chicken pens and pens should be located at least 25 feet from any property, and structures would be prohibited from being located in the front or side yards of a property, according to the proposed law.
Residents would be allowed to maintain the chickens for personal use only.
“The rearing of chickens, the sale of eggs, meat or other chicken products, and the production of fertilizers are prohibited,” the bill says.
Feed should be stored in a metal contained in an enclosed structure and animals should be fed from a trough. Spreading food on the ground is prohibited.
The proposal also includes a provision that would allow the city to revoke a permit if the law is not followed and would prohibit the issuance of a new permit for two years. Residents could appeal any decision, according to the proposal.
A timeline for when the law might be approved remains unclear.
Following the public hearing, council members would either refine the law or approve the legislation as drafted, or reject the proposed ordinance.
Allowing chickens has been a hot topic for area municipalities in recent years.
A similar proposal has been floated in Schenectady in recent years, although no legislation has managed to gain traction. The city currently only allows the raising of chickens for educational purposes with the approval of the city’s society attorney.
Chickens are also banned in the city of Amsterdam and the city of Glenville.
Scotia, on the other hand, only allows keeping poultry on a property, as long as the animals are not kept within 300 feet of another dwelling.
But neighboring Niskayuna currently allows chicken farming under a law similar to Rotterdam’s proposed ordinance, although there are slight differences.
The Niskayuna law, for example, requires chickens to be kept in a pen with a minimum of 3 square feet of space per animal instead of four, and allows the city building inspector to issue a written warning. then a fine of $250.
In Guilderland, chickens are permitted, but must be kept in a structure that is at least two feet off the ground and located at least 20 feet from a neighboring property.
A public hearing on the proposed chicken ordinance will take place at the next Rotterdam City Council meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall, 1100 Sunrise Blvd.
Contact journalist Chad Arnold at: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.
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