Green considering changes to chicken raising restrictions
GREEN — Raising chicken hens is the latest trend to hatch in Ohio, so Green is making it easier for city residents to take part in the activity.
At the April 24 meeting, Green City Council heard the second reading of legislation to change the city’s codified ordinances concerning chicken hens. The ordinance would reduce the minimum size of a lot for raising chicken hens from 5 acres to 2 acres.
“It is something that is much more popular today and being done in major cities,” said Planning Director Wayne Wiethe. “It is popular to raise your own chickens and have your own eggs available to you.”
Councilman Gerard Neugebauer (at large) explained a resident was raising chickens and recently found out he was doing so illegally. This led the individual to question the city’s requirements, so the Planning Department revisited the issue, he said.
A public hearing concerning the matter was held prior to the regular meeting.
Neugebauer reviewed the city’s complete list of proposed regulations for anyone wishing to take up the hobby on a parcel of land less than 5 acres.
He said all structures containing chicken hens must be located in the rear yard, with a minimum setback of 30 feet from all property lines, and all fenced enclosures must be located in the rear yard, with a minimum setback of 20 feet from all property lines.
Chicken hens present on a parcel less than 5 acres must be housed in an enclosed, floored structure for protection from the elements, with an appropriately sized fenced area; and hens shall not run at large, according to the ordinance.
Neugebauer said a maximum of eight egg-laying hens are permitted on lots 2 acres or larger, but roosters are prohibited on parcels smaller than 5 acres.
Property owners proposing to raise chicken hens must first obtain a certificate of use and compliance through the Zoning Department, he said. Those who apply for the certificate must submit a site plan showing the proposed location of the structure and fencing, Neugebauer added.
City officials believe the lot size change should not ruffle any feathers.
Resident Pat Conahan, of Killinger Road, spoke out against the change during the public hearing, however.
“We should leave it at 5 acres,” he said.
Conahan specifically expressed concern with the amount of flies and fecal matter that could result by living next door to someone raising chicken hens.
He questioned if someone would enforce the regulations and inspect the areas where hens are being kept.
Neugebauer said the Zoning Department most likely would inspect a property only when a complaint is made.
He said nuisance issues must be addressed within seven days of notice by the city, though. Failure to do so could result in revocation of the certificate, he added.
“This is not just an open invitation to raise chickens on your property,” he said.
Ron Vargo, of Spade Road, spoke during the public hearing in favor of the proposed change. He wanted his daughters to have the opportunity to raise chicken hens on his 3-1/2 acres of land and provide his family with farm-fresh eggs.
Vargo said a number of urban areas have no restrictions regarding the amount of space needed to raise chicken hens and are not seeing any problems with allowing the activity in their cities.
During the regular meeting, Council also heard the second reading of an ordinance to change the zoning classification of property containing about 11.56 acres of land located on the south side of Boettler Road from Single Family Residential to Planning Development and accepting the general development plan of the proposed Green Pointe Assisted Living Facility. A public hearing is scheduled on this ordinance May 22 at 7:04 p.m. at the Central Administration Building (CAB), 1755 Town Park Blvd.
Council additionally heard the second readings of legislation amending the general development plan for the Diamond Shores project and appropriating funds for the position of deputy clerk of council.
Council held committee meetings prior to the regular meeting. During the meeting of the Planning, Community and Economic Development Committee, Neugebauer reported on the Planning and Zoning Commission’s meeting held April 18. Among other requests granted, the Commission approved a used car lot, known as Simmons Auto Sales, at 3303 Massillon Road, he said. The business will join Miller Towing and display 12 cars for sale at the site, Neugebauer said.
The Commission additionally gave an approval for the Green Youth Football League to construct a press box at Ariss Park. Neugebauer also made Council aware of zoning changes to take place on 246.5 acres of land off Massillon Road for the construction of Diebold’s world headquarters in the Union Square development.
Before the regular meeting, Council held an executive session to discuss personnel and real estate matters.
In other city business:
• City Engineer Paul Pickett said the resurfacing of Caston Road was postponed due to unfavorable temperatures but would be done as soon as possible.
• Wiethe said Kimble will collect scrap metal May 19. The collection will include appliances. Anyone interested in being included in the pickup should contact the trash hauler at 330-343-1226. Also, he said Kimble has changed its collection day to Wednesdays for residents of Kingston Road.
• Council gave a key to the city April 24 to Eric Merryman, of Boy Scout Troop No. 335, for earning his Eagle Scout award.
• Mayor Dick Norton announced he would speak on economic development at the Summit County Mayors Association retreat May 24 at The University of Akron.
Council’s next regular meeting is set for May 8 beginning at 5 p.m. for committee meetings and continuing at 7 p.m. for the Council meeting, in Council Chambers at the CAB.
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