Cock-a-doodle-don’t: N.L. not big on chickens

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A resident’s request to change an ordinance prohibiting chickens in the village limits met stiff resistance at Tuesday night’s North Lewisburg Village Council meeting.
Resident Angela Myers asked council what village ordinances barring residents from raising chickens and inquired about having those regulations changed. Mayor Cheryl Hollingsworth said that an ordinance prohibiting livestock from being raised in the village has been on the books since 1993 and added that she has no interest in seeing it altered.
“I’m just not willing to make the change,” Hollingsworth said.
The mayor said she did not want to open the door to the odor, waste and noise that chickens would bring, especially if a great number of birds were kept, given the close proximity of homes in the village.
Myers said she was looking to keep possibly four hens and no roosters, so the noise and odor should be minimal. She said USDA guidelines do not recommend keeping chickens without a certain amount of available space.
Hollingsworth opened the question to council to see if members would be interested in such a change.
Councilman John Collier said he was concerned that allowing chickens to be raised in the village could open the door to other animals such as ducks or sheep. Hollingsworth agreed, noting that families involved with 4-H could soon want rabbits, sheep or other project animals to be allowed inside the village limits.
Myers said other area municipalities, such as Marysville and Urbana, allow chickens to be raised inside their limits. Village administrator Andy Yoder explained that cities of that size have zoning enforcement departments that can monitor such situations, while North Lewisburg does not.
Council member Gwen Beech asked if any other municipalities of similar size to North Lewisburg allow chickens. Yoder said he did not believe so, but he would investigate the matter further.
Myers said the village could set up a permit fee for birds to be raised in the village and place regulations on numbers and allowing them to run loose. Yoder questioned who would monitor such regulations, but said he would look into how other areas handle such issues.
In other business, council:
-Voted John Collier as council president by a 3-2 vote over Ted Murphy. Matt Warner cast his vote for Murphy while Beech and Jennifer Ohashi supported Coller.
–Heard from Hollingsworth that the village is in need of new members for the village park board.
–Heard from Yoder that the village has received a $3,050 grant reimbursement to cover the 2020 mosquito spraying program.
–Learned that Yoder investigated Ohio House Bill 264 to see if the water and sewer grant program could allow the village to restructure some of its existing debt, but found the money is for new projects.
-Accepted the lease agreement from Triad Junior Baseball/Softball for use of the park for the season.



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