FALCONER - Pet chickens are now allowed in the village of Falconer.
Last week, the Falconer Village Board held a public hearing on changing its local laws to amend Chapter 48: dogs and other animals, to include chickens. David Krieg, Falconer mayor, said the law was changed because village officials had received requests from residents about pet chickens. Also, he said the board wanted to make sure they had restrictions in place for those who have pet chickens.
''Well we had some requests about people being able to raise chickens in the village,'' he said. ''We went through (the law), and tightened it and added restrictions.''
Krieg said the restrictions include needing a permit, and applying for it each year.
''This way they can be inspected each year,'' Krieg said. ''There will also be no roosters allowed, a limit on the number and how far they have to be from property lines.''
Krieg said the discussion on including chickens as pets in the village started last year with Sally Miess. Miess wanted Falconer officials to update its zoning code to accommodate for the hobby of urban chicken keeping.
According to an article that ran in The Post-Journal in October of 2012, on Jan. 11, 2012, Falconer's code enforcement officer arrived at Miess' house to ask if she had any chickens. When she explained to the officer the chickens she had were pets, she was told she must get rid of the chickens because they're not allowed in the village code.
Initially, Miess filed for a zoning variance that would allow her to keep chickens without changing the code. However, in order to be granted a variance, she would have had to prove that not keeping chickens has caused her a financial hardship, which it has not.
''Sally is how it started, but a lot of communities are doing it now,'' Krieg said about including chickens as part of laws dealing with pets. ''We felt it is better to have control over it by tightening up the law than to not have anything. The board felt having some restrictions was the best way to go, and being able to check it and inspect it too.''