Chicken ordinance doesn’t ruffle feathers

Published 9:21 am Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thus far there has been no negative reaction from the public to a proposed ordinance that would allow Niles Charter Township residents to keep chickens in residential areas.

It is a bit surprising since similar measures have produced heated debates in other communities.

All we’ve heard or seen so far at public meetings and on social media is that people in Niles Township want the ability to keep chickens on their property.

If that is truly the case, we believe the Niles Charter Township Board of Trustees should vote to pass the ordinance at their next meeting.

Peg Hartman, the township’s zoning administrator and code enforcement officer, said creating the ordinance was in response to the township receiving interest in keeping chickens from about a dozen township residents.

Passing the ordinance would satisfy those people while protecting those who do not wish to have chickens by providing clear-cut rules and regulations regarding the keeping of chickens.

The ordinance would require people to obtain an annual license if they want to keep chickens, meaning the township will be able to keep track of who has chickens and how many chickens they have.

Those in violation of the ordinance could be subject to fines, meaning the township would have the authority to make sure people are following the rules.

It is our hope that Niles Township residents are educated on this topic and that people have the courage to speak their minds about it — whether they are in support of the ordinance or against it.

There is still time to let your voice be heard as the board is scheduled to consider the ordinance at its next meeting on Dec. 21.

Otherwise, don’t cry fowl when chickens appear in your neighbor’s yard.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.