Looking for help re village law on keeping chickens (NYState)

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by VivianL, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. VivianL

    VivianL In the Brooder

    Mar 3, 2009
    I live in Scottsville NY.

    I talked to the building supervisor to see about keeping chickens. The ordinance in the village has no regulation on keeping chickens but it says that any building/coop used to house livestock/poultry must be no closer than 100ft to the property line.

    Here's a pic of my backyard... not the best as it was taken during a snowstorm but I'm just showing that there are no homes around the area I would consider putting the coop.


    Our total property size is 1/2 acre ... we have one of the larger lots but still not possible to put a coup on the property with this current restriction. We are looking at putting the coup on the left side of the shed so it would protect it from wind and provide shade in the summer from the hottest of the afternoon sun.

    The building inspector did say I could go in front of the village board (paying a $100 fee to do so) and try to get an exception to the zoning law.

    I'm wondering if I have a good chance or not. As I said... there's no houses behind us.. the property boarding the back of our fence belongs to a neighbor but as you can see the houses are not close. further back is a railroad bed. The one direct neighbor to us (right side of fence) is actually a board member so I may just go over and chat with him to feel things out a bit on whether he would be opposed to it. I don't get the impression the other 2 neighbors boarding us would have a problem. The board member neighbor did recently just get the zoning changed for his wife to be able to run a dog grooming business out of their home. I"m hoping that may have opened things up for me a bit. - I did nothing to oppose them.

    even with our fenced in yard I plan on keepign the chickens confined unless I'm out there with them ... we have lots of neighbor dogs and I could see a chicken going over the fence if spooked and becoming dinner for one of those dogs.

    So does anyone have experience with this law/restriction. Do you think I have a chance to argue it. How do I go about arguing for permission. I'm truly a newbie here. I have several exotic pet birds but would like to keep a few chickens for eggs. My husband is familar with raising chickens and is all for keeping a few as well. I admit if its going to get too expensive (just referring to cost of fighting the law) then I'll just keep buying my eggs from a local lady that sells them - she's lucky and is just outside the village line so she's not affected by this. This is a large farming community.. I just got 'lucky' to fall inside the village line. [​IMG]

    Thanks for any help
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009

  2. MissCluck

    MissCluck Songster

    Welcome to BYC! I live about an hour from Scottsville and it's a very pretty village.

    I've had to deal with the Zoning Board of Appeals in my town but not for chickens.

    I suppose before you spend the $100 to appear you might ask your neighbors what their thoughts are on chickens. Could be opening a can of worms but they would be notified if you were going to have a zoning variance for the chicken coop location (or it would be published in your local paper). Then there would be a public hearing. It took several months for me to present what I wanted to do and then have the Board vote on it at the public hearing.

    If you had your neighbors' support it would go a LONG way to assisting you with the variance. It would help if they would write a note to the village board saying they are OK with the coop/chickens.

    If you do go before the ZBA it helps to be prepared with photos of what your coop will look like, what your chickens will look like and to have good info for the ZBA folks to go over.

    I had to go before my local ZBA because I had a proposed picket fence that was 4' high instead of 3' high (and you can't see my property from the road - but there was that law....)

    I hope it works out for you. Certainly your yard looks big enough to ME! Lovely area. Good luck!
  3. VivianL

    VivianL In the Brooder

    Mar 3, 2009

    Yea.. I was going to talk to the 3 neighbors that directly border us. If they are fine with it then I'd be a bit ahead and to make sure go a few more doors down on either side. Asking also if they'd be willing to give a signed letter that they were okay with it.

    The one neighbor did go to the board (he's also a board member) and go through the process of starting a dog grooming business from their house. Some restrictions were put on but like you said... a public notice went out... I received one - checked into things to see what they were doing and what the restrictions were, had no issues with it so didn't argue it... I'm hoping they remember that with this [​IMG]

    Hubby and I are thinking of using more of our space to put in a nice veggie garden - it is a nice plot size with lots of space to work with - and some fresh eggs would be a nice things to go along with it. [​IMG]

    I was afraid it could take months and I'd like to do it this spring so guess I really need to get started.

  4. MissCluck

    MissCluck Songster

    Yup - the time frame seemed long to me when I went through the process. Since the ZBA only meets once per month it was a real bummer to have to wait. I'd say you might have a good chance of getting in on their March meeting so it might be May when your approval came through... unless they work quicker than my ZBA [​IMG]
  5. NorTracNY

    NorTracNY Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Macedon, NY

    To me it sounds like you're all set to have the chickens. You just need to talk with your neighbor that is a board member. He is not in any position to say no. His ONLY shot at saying "no" would be if the other neighbors strongly opposed it. It sounds like he has what is called a special use permit. It needs to be renewed every year. Just go over to him and chat. If he actually said no, or spoke very negative of your idea, thank him for his time and ask him to try and keep the noise from the dogs down.
    It will cost you the $100 though.


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