Chicken Ordinance in Mahopac in Carmel New York

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by RobLII, May 23, 2016.

  1. RobLII

    RobLII Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2011
    Mahopac
    Hi Everyone,
    So....I've kept chickens in Mahopac for about the past 5 years. I just received a violation stating that I need to "immediately rectify the issue." Apparently you need to be a working farm on at least 5 acres. I currently have 6 hens on just over 2 acres of land, plenty of space IMHO.
    So, I'd like to challenge the ordinance, and hopefully come up with a modern, acceptable ordinance that everyone agrees on.
    I have contacted the compliance officer to inquire how to seek a variance for the time being. I'd like to go to a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting to bring up changing the ordinance.
    If you raise chicken/poultry in Carmel Ny or if you live in Carmel and are interested in helping us change this ordinance, please reply to this thread. I think we would need to get a large group of residents to call/ email the board and hopefully attend the meeting that we would eventually have. Hopefully we can raise our chickens without worrying about getting a ticket!
    Any advise/ references/ contacts/ articles/ etc would be greatly appreciated!

    Rob Lena
    Mahopac, NY
     
  2. EggsRUs1948

    EggsRUs1948 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2015
    Best place to start is with the city council, city manager, mayor (however your local government is configured). You'll probably find a sympathetic ear and they'll start the ball rolling. You have more land than me, so it should be possible. Just tell them it's a movement and they don't want to miss out.
    Aloha,
    Jim
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. demstar5

    demstar5 New Egg

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    May 24, 2016
    Mahopac new york
    I'm in Mahopac. I have hens as do
    Many folks around us. I would be happy to help in any way I can.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. RobLII

    RobLII Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2011
    Mahopac
  5. EggsRUs1948

    EggsRUs1948 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2015
    I pass this on, because it's the clearest description of the situation! From Sparta, Illinois:

    Pet chickens are incidental to residential use. In City of Sparta v. Page, 2015 IL App (5th) 140463-U, the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s finding that the defendant landowner was not in violation of a local zoning ordinance. The City of Sparta (City), a home rule municipality, claimed the defendant violated a zoning ordinance by conducting an unpermitted use in a residential district by keeping chickens at his residence.
    In the summer of 2013, the City’s animal control officer discovered the defendant raising chickens at his residence and claimed he warned him to remove the chickens. The residence was situated on a one and one-half acre tract within the city limits where defendant had been raising chickens for approximately four years on the property using a movable fence. He considered his chickens to be pets and did not use them for any commercial enterprise; no evidence was presented that he sold either the chickens or their eggs. In March 2014, the defendant called in a complaint to the City’s police department reporting a stray dog attacked one of his chickens. When the animal control officer responded, he discovered the defendant had not complied with his previous warning and the officer issued a citation. The citation listed a violation of a City municipal code pertaining to harboring certain animals including swine, cattle, horses, mules, or game birds within the city limits, which was later amended to a zoning violation for conducting a prohibited agricultural use in a residential district. The trial court held that raising chickens was not prohibited by the code and that the defendant’s activities were not commercial in nature and, therefore, did not constitute agricultural use. The court reasoned the defendant’s use was merely incidental to permitted residential use of the property, much like having a vegetable garden. Moreover, the court reasoned the clear primary use of the property was residential and normal incidental uses of residential homes and property include having pets. While the zoning code does not specifically permit dogs, vegetable gardens, or fruit trees in a residential district, all of those uses are incidental to residential use and clearly are not prohibited. Source
     
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  6. RobLII

    RobLII Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2011
    Mahopac
  7. RobLII

    RobLII Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2011
    Mahopac
    So I am meeting with the town board in my town to go over possible changes to the ordinance.
    What are some good items to be sure are in the ordinance?
    Also, can you guys give me as many cons to allowing chickens that you can think of? I want to bring those, along with answers to satisfy them.
     
  8. EggsRUs1948

    EggsRUs1948 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2015
    The usual stuff is easy: noise, dust, manure, trespass, maybe even appearance and predators. The new one is salmonella, and that may be a game changer. The word in Ohio is that outbreaks have doubled since last year (to 400) and the claim is that it's from backyard chickens. Anything to mitigate that argument would be helpful. Frankly I think the issue is promoted by commercial egg producers.
     

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