LACEY – Problems most fowl were discussed at a recent Township Committee meeting where an ordinance regarding chickens was hatched.
“For the past several meetings we’ve had some residents come in regarding chickens but especially roosters and I spoke with Greg Myhre – the mayor of Stafford Township – and he mentioned their ordinance and I got a sample of it,” Township Clerk/Business Administrator Veronica Laureigh said during the meeting.
“It is pretty basic and very simple but I had Code Enforcement look at it because that would be the office that would be handling this and I wanted to see where you guys want to go with this. Do you want something simple or do you want something else?” she asked the governing body.
Committeeman Peter Curatolo brought up a concern. “I know we have some people who have farm animals and that’s fine but when it comes to quality-of-life issues that have come up in the last two meetings, this ordinance doesn’t touch on larger animals like pigs, goats and the like. To me it is a little incomplete if it doesn’t talk about that.”
“If you have enough property and square footage that’s one thing but you know how government is,” he explained. Everything needs to be specifically addressed. “It goes to quality of life, it goes to property value so to me it should include other animals and not just fowl.”
“As to it pertaining to chickens are we fine with that? We already have stuff that addresses horses so we don’t have to worry about that but you are right we do have to address farm animals,” Laureigh added.
Deputy Mayor Timothy McDonald said, “if we ever get complaints about pigs or whatever then we can address that as that issue comes up. This is the first time that I have been here that we actually have something we can sink our teeth into and get some enforcement.”
Laureigh said that those who own chickens and/or roosters would have to come into compliance with the new ordinance. “From what I know there would be no grandfathering.” She said the committee can draft the ordinance for now and in the meantime she would look at other ordinances about farm animals.
In other news, it was noted that the Xodus Recovery Center will host its annual flea market on August 13 with a rain date of August 14 and Trademark Dance Academy will hold a car wash on August 20 with a rain date on August 21. Both were approved for special use permits.
Officials also moved forward on an ordinance adopting a financial agreement for Cornerstone at Lacey, Phase 3. Laureigh explained, “this authorizes a tax exemption in lieu of taxes in connection with the Lacey Phase 3 project. This is in accordance with our court settlement under the fair share housing settlement with regards to having prior compliance for 70 additional units.”
She noted the township being in the process of purchasing additional property next to OceanFirst Bank “to meet our court ordered fair share housing settlement.”