B y Krystle S. Morey

No chickens allowed.

After more than 20 residents turned out at the Granville Village Board meeting Monday to sound off about housing chickens in the village, the board rejected the idea, 4-1.

Trustee Paul Labas cast the sole “yes” vote on an amendment that would have allowed “exotic animals” in the community.

Mayor Brian LaRose cited the board’s previous opposition to revising the village law, a review by the Planning Board and Granville’s comprehensive plan before stating he was not in favor of revising the policy.

“I realize that chickens are in vogue right now, but we have to worry about our village as a whole right now,” LaRose said.

Trustee Frank Caruso said he was concerned about enforcement of standards and the cost that enforcing regulations may present.

“The village has a very tight budget … I can just picture this getting to the point where we will have to hire someone else to keep tabs on it,” Caruso said.

During the 15-minute public hearing, four village residents spoke to the board, three in favor of allowing chickens in the village and one opposed.

Rob Winn, who has six chickens of his own at his current home in Middle Granville and plans to move to the village, said allowing chickens in the village would not only benefit the community now, but future generations as well.

“It improves their (childrens’) character to do so … and it teaches them responsibility,” Winn said during the meeting.

Winn said his 9-year-old granddaughter, Giana, and some of his neighbor’s children are very involved with caring for and feeding his chickens, and gathering the eggs.

“For kids who live in the village, who might not have access to farm households, this would be the one chance they would have to engage in some small-level agricultural processes,” Winn said.

Winn and his wife, Janet, plan to move from their Gillespie Road home to the village this year. With the board’s decision, they will not be able to take their chickens with them.

Rev. Jim Peterson, pastor of Granville Baptist Church, spoke in favor of allowing residents to house chickens.

“People should be able to do what they want with their property if it doesn’t bother the neighbors,” Peterson said.

Peterson also said that allowing people to raise their own food and be self-sufficient, with regulation, “seems reasonable.”

“I don’t know anything about raising chickens and I have no intention of raising chickens, but as long as there are standards for housing and location … and sanitation and noise … it sounds good to me,” he said.

Most board members said they were concerned about odors and waste that come with raising chickens.

“They really don’t make a lot of waste … much less than a cat or a dog,” said Janet Winn, noting that dog waste found around town is more of a threat to the community.

Village clerk Rick Roberts voiced concerns about complaints his office would likely receive if the village law were amended. Roberts said residents are worried about the odors, noise and rodents that come with raising chickens. He also said that chickens may have a negative effect on adjoining property values.

Labas, the lone member of the board to support the amendment, advised the Winns and other residents to not give up on pursuing this issue – pointing to Cambridge, which does allow the housing of chickens in its village.

“Laws can be changed,” Labas said. “It’s happened before.”



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