Officials in West Haven are considering allowing homeowners to have chickens.
West Haven's Animal Control pitched the idea of changing the zoning rules which would allow single-family homeowners to have chickens and fresh eggs.
They say neighboring towns already have similar laws on the books, and this would at least allow for the city to regulate it.
"I didn’t see a reason not to allow it. All of the surrounding cities and towns allow it, except West Haven. New Haven allows it, Bridgeport allows it, Milford allows it, Orange allows it, North Haven allows it,” said Denice Ford, of West Haven Animal Control.
Ford submitted a proposal that would allow residents living in detached, single family homes to have hens.
She said over the years, she's been called to a number of homes that were illegally keeping chickens for their eggs or just as pets.
Originally, she proposed homeowners could have up to six hens, that number is being changed to four. Also, no noisy roosters.
Anyone interested would need an enclosed coop, along with a chicken run in the backyard, not visible from the street.
"Twenty-five feet from any street, line, must be in a rear yard, and 10 feet from any residential dwelling and property line. So this would give people with smaller lots a chance to meet those criteria, where the previous law was 100 feet from a dwelling,” Ford said.
Homeowners would have to submit an application, and animal control officers would monitor and keep a count.
"It’s a way to know where your food is coming from. There are a lot of benefits to owning backyard chickens. Healthier eggs, knowing what the chickens eat, learning where your food comes from and the responsibility of caring for an animal, not a dog or a cat that's going to live with you,” Ford said.
West Haven Planning and Zoning will take the issue up again and continue to discuss the proposal at its next meeting, a week from Tuesday.
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