July 29, 2014

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Amherst Council votes to put six-month hold on chicken restriction

AMHERST — Chickens can live for another day in Amherst.

A moratorium on an ordinance that restricts chicken ownership on fewer than 5 acres of land will go into effect in Amherst in 30 days, allowing chicken owners to keep them for a bit longer. The moratorium passed, 4 to 3, in a vote Monday by City Council.

The ordinance has become an issue for some Amherst residents recently after the Amherst Building Department started enforcing the ordinance over the summer.

The moratorium was proposed in September to allow City Council time to consider changing the law.

The law will be on hiatus for six months, and Councilman Phil Van Treuren, R-at large, stressed that the moratorium does not mean Amherst residents can buy more chickens during those six months.

“I don’t want you to get the impression that this is a victory for you,” Van Treuren said to some chicken owners who came to Monday’s meeting.

Council, he said, might not change the ordinance after discussing it, and he doesn’t want owners to get their hopes up.

Some Council members who voted against the moratorium expressed concern about the issue of disease surrounding chicken ownership in the town.

Councilwoman Jennifer Wasilk said that chickens carry diseases that are harmful, especially to children and the elderly.

“I’ve had people describe them as pigs with wings,” Wasilk said.

For Councilman Joe Miller, D-at large, the argument of diseases associated with chickens is over the top.

“I’m tired of the hysteria,” Miller said, explaining why he was voting for the moratorium. Miller said it is up to parents, not the government, to teach children how to stay clean to avoid disease. “I get nervous when we want to make government our parent.”

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.

 

  • Nick Mascari

    “I get nervous when we want to make government our parent”

    Mr. Miller better be careful or he will be kicked out of the Democratic Party.

    • chicken lover

      he seems like the only one with common sense. the russians are comming the russians are comming. the end is near.

  • chicken lover

    i always thought amherst sucked now im sure

  • chicken lover

    change the name from amherst to commiville. yesa masa we gets ride of are pet fo uze

  • chicken lover

    im sorry thats just wrong. commies can have chickens my bad.

  • chicken lover

    these are mine in amherst

  • chicken lover

    are you scared now. they will get you

  • chicken lover

    the sky is fallin the sky is fallin. next it will be your dog or cat or parrot.

  • chicken lover

    they are putting a net over all of amherst to protect us all from those plague infested wild birds. also an all out man hut on turkeys.

  • chicken lover

    $100 dollar fine if a robin lands on your property less than 50 acres.

  • chicken lover

    how does my colon look. do i have polyps

  • chicken lover

    thanks Adolf van Trulylame

  • chicken lover

    i got the chance to meet Councilwoman Jennifer Wasilk she seemed like a real head case good job voters

  • chicken lover

    i think i have a bird for her

  • chicken lover

    im sorry but abuse of power makes me sick. how can these 4 people put an end to this prehistoric practice

  • chicken lover

    but if your rich enough to have acreage your chicken are parasite free.