First Permit Issued Under Yorktown's 2014 Chicken Law

Credits: Wikimedia Commons

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Three years after the town board legalized the raising of fowl on residential properties, the first permit has finally been issued.

To obtain a permit, homeowners must comply with several conditions, including:

  • Keeping all feed in rodent-proof containers;
  • Creating a waste management plan;
  • Screening the coop and attached run from neighbors;
  • Having a lot size of at least 40,000 square feet; and
  • Constructing the coop completely in the side or year yard, and at least 30 feet from each property line and 50 feet from the residence.

Additionally, mature male chickens (roosters) are prohibited under the law. The law does not specify limitations on the number of fowl (chickens or ducks) that can be kept.

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Following a public hearing at Thursday’s zoning board of appeals meeting, a permit was unanimously approved for a Blackberry Lane family.

“We went out there and the coop is very well built,” said board member Greg Bucci. “[The homeowners are] both engineers, so it’s built better than most homes. It’s screened. Nobody’s going to see it. It all looks like it’s completely in conformity.”

Earlier in the meeting, another homeowner also applied for a permit to raise fowl on Old Logging Road. A public hearing on that application is scheduled for Sept. 14.

Board Chairman Gordon Fine said, to his recollection, this is the first time a permit has been issued under the new law. A homeowner applied to raise fowl last year, but eventually withdrew the application, he said.

“It’s getting more and more popular,” Fine said.

Under the law, Fine said, the zoning board can only grant a permit for one year. After that one year, when the zoning board will review compliance with the conditions, it can then approve the permit for any period of time it chooses.

The town board unanimously approved the law on July 1, 2014. Read section 300-81.3 of the town code at

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