Jul 29, 2014
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Count Your Chickens...Before Township Does

Warren may adopt an ordinance to limit the number of farmland fowl residents can keep.

Count Your Chickens...Before Township Does

While there's no danger for Foghorn Leghorn—he lives on a (cartoon) farm—but some other chickens in Warren Township could come under scrutiny, if the Township Committee adopts a new ordinance limiting the number of chickens and other fowl in the coming months.

The township has been pecking away at the need for some kind of regulation for several months, after receiving complaints of fowl-gone-afoul. At the June Township Committee meeting, Spring Lane resident Frank Rica reported having to contend with the noise and smell of a neighbor's more than 100 birds.

"At night it's gotten to the point I can't even go out on my deck—the smell is horrendous," he said. Rica brought photos of his neighbor's property, which Township Committeeman Mick Marion said was "pretty clear this person is taking advantage" of the township's lack of controls on the birds.

Township Administrator Mark Krane noted Warren only has an ordinance regulating horses, so the committee directed Township Attorney Jeffrey Lehrer to begin drafting an ordinance to address the issue. 

An ordinance from Hopewell Township that is being modified to better suit local concerns was discussed at the Sept. 13 meeting. Changes proposed include setting minimum 1.5-acre lot sizes for keeping chickens, and the number of roosters permitted.

The regulations will not apply to properties receiving farmland assessments, Krane said.

The ordinance may be introduced at the next Township Committee meeting, and could also be expanded to include additional animals.

"There are, in specific areas of town that's been brought to our attention, residents who have raised a significant numberof chckens and some other animals that have affected the quality of life of neighbors," Deputy Mayor Vic Sordillo said last week.

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