Aug 10, 2010 Doug Campbell Uncategorized
Don’t expect to hear clucking in village of Cazenovia backyards anytime soon.
William Wester, a Farnham Street resident, proposed changes to the village code earlier in June that would allow chickens to be kept by village residents. His proposition was rejected by the board at a meeting Monday Aug. 2 after Mayor Thomas Dougherty proposed a resolution both acknowledging and denying the request.
“I think the slippery slope argument is a good one,” said Village Trustee Peggy Van Arnam. “If we allow chickens, I would expect requests for ducks, potbellied pigs and other animals, all of which are appealing to some people, if not to their neighbors, and I think it would be very hard to negotiate one without the other.”
Trustees Van Arnam and Amy Mann, as well as Dougherty, voted against the idea. Trustee David Porter and Deputy Mayor Kurt Wheeler supported chickens in the village.
“I’m looking at it a little bit differently in the sense that I think as our economy and our approach to how we do things changes towards a greener way of doing things, I think we have to have a more open mind about a lot of these things,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler said he liked the idea of residents being able to produce their own food locally.
“With appropriate regulations, I’d be in favor of it,” Wheeler said.
Van Arnam believed the advantage of having locally produced food was minimal considering the village’s proximity to the town and farmer’s markets.
“Although I agree that organic eggs are eminently desirable, they’re very easily available now at farmer’s markets and the Amish store,” she said. “Here, you can move half a mile and be in a less restrictive environment and have all the pets you want. Some village residents already raise animals by boarding them with a farmer on a nearby farm — lambs, cows and so forth.”
Van Arnam was concerned about the space between village homes.
“Village houses are very close together; the lot sizes are generally smaller in the village,” she said.
Porter spoke from his own experience; his family had chickens when he was a child, and he raised chickens himself in college.
“I don’t think chickens are generally too odorous unless you really let the manure accumulate,” Porter said. “I like the idea of the sustainability aspect of it. I like the idea of people using the scraps they would throw away to produce eggs.”
The mayor and two trustees dismissed the idea based on their concerns about odor, upkeep, noise and requests for more exotic wild animals.
“I like chickens,” said the mayor. “I actually like Kentucky Fried Chicken the best,” he joked. “I just think it’s not what we should be doing.”