Chicken coops and chicken poop were the topic of conversation for a portion of the Peekskill City Council’s work session this week.
The Council is considering writing an ordinance to allow residents to have chicken coops on their properties. But, with chickens come smells, possible vermin, manure and noise. So the city is carefully discussing how to construct an ordinance that provides strict rules and clear guidelines for code enforcers.
“This isn’t as simple as people think it is,” City Planner Anthony Ruggeiro told the Council. “Because you have to worry about person who wants the coop and the people around them,” he said. Ruggeiro listed the issues surrounding the coop structure, storing feed, handling manure and other details that are important to ensure chicken coops are safe, clean and acceptable for a small city backyard.
Ruggeiro provided the council with the Town of Haverstraw’s ordinance relating to chicken coops and explained how the city would modify Haverstraw’s to fit its needs. (See attached PDF.)
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Ruggeiro made several recommendations. Among them: the property must be a minimum of 6,000 square feet, there must be no more than four hens per coop; the structure must by 20 feet from the property and 30 feet to any residential structure and the hens must by four months old.
The city would issue a permit for chicken coop owners and they must have written signed consent forms from all adjoining property owners in order to install a coop.
“A concern that someone expressed to me is that we have a hard time getting people to cut their grass and get their hedges done,” Councilwoman Drew Claxton said. She continued to explain that it seemed it would be difficult for the city to be able to regulate that people are caring for chicken’s properly.
The Mayor added that she wants the city to be more directive with waste, how to dispose of waste and maintain feed.
The city will continue to finalize the ordinance details before any new laws are adopted.
Should chicken coops be allowed in Peekskill? Take our poll, tell us in the comments.
Editor's Note: The minimum lot size the city is considering is 6,000 square feet, not 5 acres as was reported in a previous version of this article. We regret the error.