Permit Backyard Chickens in the Village of Unadilla, NY
PLEASE - ONLY SIGN IF YOU ARE A RESIDENT OF THE VILLAGE OF UNADILLA!
Whereas Section 159-83 of the Code of the Village of Unadilla precludes the keeping of chickens and other fowl on most village lots without an unreasonably burdensome and lengthy permitting process;
Whereas many municipalities have added backyard chicken keeping as a permitted use on residential properties to their zoning codes. As of 2011, 93% of US cities allowed raising of backyard chickens including, New York, Denver and Los Angeles. Closer to home, in 2015 the City of Oneonta amended local code to permit backyard chicken keeping;
Whereas agriculture, food production and food preparation have historically been at the heart of the local economy of Unadilla, from canning milk to storing grain, York rakes to Tieco ties, Ames handles to Chambers auctions;
Whereas, the Unadilla Great American grocery store closed in December, 2017, further limiting access to healthy food and threatening the well-being of the community;
Whereas, absent supermarkets in the late 19th century, the average American family planted gardens and raised chickens as a matter of necessity, and as recently as the first half of the 20th century the government promoted planting gardens and keeping chickens as a patriotic duty;
Whereas home-raised hens living in spacious, clean conditions produce eggs that are fresher, better-tasting, and more nutritious than their commercially farmed counterparts;
Whereas raising chickens promotes the humane treatment of food-producing animals and the development of a local, sustainable food system;
Whereas chickens are green pets, eating a variety of noxious weeds and disease-carrying insects - including ticks, making backyards and water supplies safer than those where toxic insecticides and pesticides are routinely applied. Given the opportunity, they gladly till, turn, aerate, and enrich gardens with homemade, nitrogen-rich fertilizer;
Whereas backyard chickens are a living lesson to children that eggs do not magically appear in cartons and a chicken does not originate from the supermarket freezer section in nugget form, providing opportunities for children to understand where food comes from and contribute to its production. Watering, feeding, and egg-collecting are all chores children can manage while experiencing valuable life lessons in responsibility, the circle of life, and compassion for animals;
Whereas pet chickens are a hobby for most modern day keepers, providing companionship, entertainment, stress reduction, and comic relief;
Whereas pet chickens are routinely used as therapy animals for individuals with a wide array of emotional, physical, and other life challenges, as well as visitors to the elderly in health and retirement facilities;
Whereas chicken-keepers view their coops, flocks and yards as a source of pride, landscaping and tending to their cleanliness fastidiously. There has never been any evidence that backyard chickens hurt property values, in fact, a Forbes list of the Top 10 US housing markets appreciating in value showed all ten permit chicken-keeping;
Whereas chickens spend hours each day dust bathing and meticulously preening themselves to maintain good hygiene and, when managed properly, no odors emanate from a chicken yard. Compared to dogs, chickens produce valuable waste that can be used as a nutrient-rich garden amendment. Twelve hens produce approximately twelve ounces of valuable lawn and garden fertilizer daily compared to the average dog that generates approximately twelve ounces of pathogenic, unusable feces a day;
Whereas hens are not ordinarily noisy and roosters are no noisier in volume or frequency than barking dogs (e.g. barking dog at 1 meter = 70–100 dB; lawnmower at 1 meter = 107 dB; crowing rooster at 1 meter = 48 dB);
Whereas chickens require no acreage to be well kept and residents of all major US cities- including, New York, Denver and Los Angeles- keep chickens with no acreage at all; and
Whereas we believe that small-scale chicken keeping is a healthy, economic, and sustainable way to feed and enrich our families, our gardens and our community;
Therefore, we, the undersigned residents of the Village of Unadilla, support, and respectfully request that the Trustees of the Village of Unadilla move to amend Section 159-83 of the Code of the Village of Unadilla as follows:
S 159-83. Animals.
The keeping of more than three (3) licensed dogs, three (3) cats or any horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, fowl or other customary farm animals or animals customarily kept in zoos or the keeping of animals for sale or hire on a lot of ten (10) acres or less shall require a site plan review by the Planning Board and special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
S 159-83. Animals.
The keeping of more than three (3) licensed dogs, three (3) cats, twelve (12) chickens or any horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs or other customary farm animals or animals customarily kept in zoos or the keeping of animals for sale or hire on a lot of ten (10) acres or less shall require a site plan review by the Planning Board and special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.