Squawks blocked

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," he 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."

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