UPDATE: News 12 video coverage. Rick Torres and Phil Blagys, Republican candidates for City Council in the 130th District, say some eggheads on the City Council are plucky about chickens and other farm animals receiving sanctuary courtesy of Mayor Bill Finch. They have a suggestion: follow the City Charter. Commentary follows … bawk bawk:
According to today’s CT Post, our City Council members aren’t about to be caught with their pants down when it comes to the mayor’s attempt to circumvent them in the creation of backyard chicken guidelines (see Post link below). In their view, chicken policy needs vetting, $400,000 driveways not so much.
We’d like to save the Mayor and the busy City Council some time by offering the following advice regarding this pressing issue. Leave it alone and just follow city ordinance. We know this may be a foreign idea, but if you just read Title Six, this issue is already covered–for chickens, pigs and other animals as well. “No person shall keep or maintain … hens, chickens, roosters … within the limits of the city without a written permit thereof from the Board of Health …”. Because we don’t have a Board of Health, this decision should be left up to the Director of Health. If there’s any question regarding this, have the City Attorney’s office weigh in. They’re pretty good at interpreting the code of ordinances. Just ask the five city employees who continue to hold City Council positions.
So on a “case by case” basis, the Director of Health would consider each applicant. He or she would figure out the rules which should include number of birds, coop size, setback, etc. And he or she will then direct Environmental Health to visit each property to confirm its appropriateness for backyard chickens based upon these criteria. And yes, the charter does provide for enforcement of these decisions by stating that permission can be granted as well as “revoked.” We believe in less government regulation, not more, and in empowering our respective departments heads to make decisions based upon human judgment, common sense and existing charter provisions.
CT Post story here.