PROSPECT — The Planning and Zoning Commission this month approved amendments to the zoning regulations that create rules to govern keeping chickens on residential properties.
Under the regulations, people will have to get a permit to keep chickens, and roosters and guinea hens aren’t allowed at all on land under 5 acres. Properties that are 5 acres or more fall under agricultural uses.
The regulations allow for two chickens on a property less than a half-acre, four on a property half an acre to 1 acre, six on 1 to 2.99 acres of land, and 10 on 3 to 4.99 acres of land.
The catalyst for drafting regulations for chickens came about after Land Use Inspector Mary Barton received complaints late last year. The complaints centered on roosters crowing, but there was interest in town from people who wanted to keep chickens.
Under the regulations, chickens have to be kept in a fenced enclosure in a rear or side yard only. The enclosure has to be 75 feet from the street, 10 feet from the side and rear property lines, and 25 feet from residential structures on adjacent properties.
A chicken coop follows mostly the same guidelines as an enclosure, except a coop has to be kept 25 feet from side and rear property lines. A coop has to be less than 15 feet high and be built to keep out other animals.
Coops and enclosures have to be kept clean at all times.