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POTSDAM — Officials in the village are considering a proposed local law that would allow village residents to raise chickens.

A public hearing, set for 4:15 p.m. June 15, will allow members of the public to give input on the proposed local law, to amend Chapter 80 Dogs and Other Animals, which would include the ownership of up to six chickens by a village resident.

The proposed local law came before the Village Board of Trustees back in 2011 as Local Law 3, but failed to pass into law, Potsdam Town Clerk Lori S. Queor said.

“We got a request from a resident, John Dewar on Waverly Street, and he sort of wanted to bring it up again,” Mrs. Queor said. “So he sent a request asking that ordinance be revised for the keeping of hens in Potsdam backyards.”

The purpose of the local law “is the objective of this overlay district to delineate those areas of the Village which have been identified as appropriate for the keeping of female chickens for human companionship and the production of eggs for the consumption by the owner.”

The keeping of chickens also will have to comply with the standards and procedures outlined in Chapter 180, Section 180-52 Domestic Poultry of the Village Municipal Code.

According to that section, its purpose is to issue a three-year permit and regulate the keeping of domestic poultry within the village to ensure that the keeping of poultry does not pose a health and safety threat to the residents of the village and to ensure the humane treatment of domestic poultry.

Permits may only be issued to owner-occupants of one- and two-family dwellings, and applicants for permits each must submit an application to the Village Code Enforcement Officer for a review and shall at a minimum provide a sketch plan that shows the location of the chicken coop and chicken run in relation to established set-backs. The proposed chicken coop and chicken run must provide a minimum of two square feet of nest space and eight square feet of outside runs.

Applicants must demonstrate how the proposed coop, run, feeder and food storage designs will prevent rodents from inhabiting these areas, have a plan for the proper disposal of chicken manure and bedding, and have a consent form signed by each abutting property owner noting their agreement to permit the applicant to keep poultry during a three-year permit cycle.

Under the limitations, each applicant granted a permit will have no more than six chickens at any given time and cannot possess roosters or castrated males; manure shall not be composted within the Village limits and shall be removed from the permit holder’s property; the slaughtering and processing of chickens is prohibited in the village; and dead chickens shall be disposed of in accordance with the state Agriculture and Markets Law.

Reasons a permit could be revoked are chickens creating an attractive nuisance for rodents, or animals that prey upon chickens that might also cause harm to the health, safety and welfare of the village residents; the permit holder is found to have treated chickens in an inhumane fashion or has been neglectful in their care; or fails to maintain the chicken coop, the chicken run or the manure/bedding holding area in a sanitary condition that poses a hazard to human health safety and welfare and the welfare of chickens.

For the public hearing, a limited number of people will be allowed in the Civic Center boardroom, located at 2 Park St., so those who wish to participate in the public hearing are being encouraged to send written comments by email to or by mail to Village of Potsdam, Village Clerk, PO Box 5168, Potsdam, NY 13676.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(2) comments


Potsdam is making this way more difficult than it need be. I wonder if they're gonna define rodent? Anyway I applaud the fact they are at least considering allowing chickens. Wow, this may be worth a trip to Potsdam to pick up chicken manure.

Oh please, I can imagine the pandemonia now! Neighbor awoken, kills chicken, is but an example.

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