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Carroll Valley ‘chicken law’ facing adoption

Richard D. L. Fulton

(1/18) The Carroll Valley Borough Council voted at their January 10 meeting to advertise for possible adoption of a proposed regulation governing the ownership of chickens as pets.

The establishment of the new rules would necessitate an amendment to the town code regarding animal regulations.

The rules would establish limits on how many chickens a resident could own, as well as provide other ownership guidelines, and would also establish penalties, including potential incarceration, and other enforcement-related procedures.

Councilman Neal Abrams said previously the proposed chicken regulations would likely generate "a lot of conversation in the borough."

Abrams also pointed out at the January meeting that the council was not the entity that conceived the concept of regulating chickens in the borough. "It should be understood the council did not advocate this."

"This (chicken ordinance) was brought up by residents of the borough," he said. "This originated with citizens."

The law would permit private property owners to maintain a small flock of up to six chickens for personal use, such as providing food for the family or for educational purposes.

Among the prohibitions proposed, the regulations would prohibit processing or butchering chickens on-site, and would prohibit commercial activities relating to selling chickens or by-products.

In addition, a permit would be required to prossess the chickens, and a $100 per day fine would be established for those who would violate the regulations. The regulations would also provide for a prison sentence of not more than 30 days for anyone who defaults on an enforcement action.

Town staff would also be given the optional empowerment to issue a cease and desist to anyone violating the regulations which could include ordering the removal of the chickens and any associated structures.

The borough Planning Commission has been mulling over the draft ordinance for several months. Commission member Edward Kaplan told the council at their December meeting that Supervisor William Reinke had made a number of recommendations regarding the draft.

A draft presented at the December council meeting, he said, was based primarily on an existing ordinance in place in North Carolina.

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