FALCONER - The village of Falconer officially has its first pet chicken.
On Aug. 12, the village board approved the pet chicken permit for Sally Miess. Last year, Miess wanted Falconer officials to update the village's zoning code to accommodate for the hobby of urban chicken keeping. According to an article in The Post-Journal in October 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.
So in June, the village board held a public hearing and passed a local law 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.
"Sally is how it started, but a lot of communities are doing it now," said David Krieg, Falconer mayor, in June about including chickens as part of laws dealing with pets.
Krieg said allowing for chickens in the village's pet laws allows for restrictions, including needing a permit and applying for it each year.
"We felt there would be some control this way, which is better than no control,'' he said. ''Like any other permit process, we can make sure conditions and codes are met."