EVENT: Legislating backyard chickens
Zak Shusterman had the honor of speaking before the Town of Bedford, NY’s Zoning Board of Appeals in support of expanding residents’ rights to raise small flocks of backyard chickens. Zak provided testimony of his own experience keeping hens in the Village of Sleepy Hollow and rules that apply there.
The Town of Bedford currently restricts chickens to properties that are at least half an acre in size. This is stark contrast to, for example, where even very modest backyards are deemed sufficient to raise hens. In nearby Sleepy Hollow, the rules are more discretionary. As long as the chickens don’t cause an odor or sound nuisance, and the area is kept in a sanitary condition, the buildings department will permit chickens – even on a modest 1/8 acre property.
In 2012, Zak hosted delegations from both the City of Yonkers and the Village of Ossining as they evaluated revised their codes to permit backyard chickens in their respective municipalities. Both delegations left with favorable impressions. He was also among several Westchester residents featured in a Journal-News article on the growing popularity of backyard bee- and chicken-keeping.