‘Keeping chickens’ ordinance being considered for residential expansion
By Chadwick Dolgos
More clucking chickens may be making their way to permanent homes in Crafton.
The Crafton Borough Council signaled they will be moving forward with expanding an ordinance that allows residents to keep chickens on their property.
The “Keeping Chickens” ordinance allows for residents of Crafton in the R-1 district to own up to four hens depending on property size. Roosters are prohibited.
“The only material change here is that we are allowing urban chickens in the R-2 district,” said Solicitor Stephen Korbel. “Currently, it is limited to the R-1 district.”
The R-1 district is preserved for residential neighborhoods in Crafton that have developed at an urban density, whereas the R-2 district is preserved for areas of higher density housing.
The proposal to amend the chicken ordinance first occurred during the council’s Sept. 14 regular meeting when President Phillip Levasseur explained there was a potential homeowner interested in buying a property in the R-2 district contingent on their ability to keep chickens.
The chicken ordinance first made a squawk in the spring of 2016 after a Crafton resident was cited for violating Crafton’s zoning ordinance by acquiring chickens from “Rent The Chicken,” a small business that leases chickens to urban and suburban residents interested in farming.
Though there was no strong opposition to the chicken ordinance in 2016, the same concerns regarding noise was voiced by the council during their Oct. 12 meeting.
“I’m a resident that’s technically in an R-2 area, and I can’t think of anywhere on my property where I could theoretically have chickens that really wouldn’t pester or be a nuisance to my neighbors,” Vice President Edward Alo said.
Crafton Borough Manager Russell McKibben assured Alo that the same rules and regulations on keeping chickens in the R-1 district will apply to keeping chickens in the R-2 district.
“The same restrictions and numbers will carry over, we just added an additional district which is the R-2 district,” said McKibben.
The ordinance allows residents who own at least 2,000 square feet in property to house two hens, and those who own up to 3,000 square feet are permitted the maximum of four hens.
“The lot size restrictions that are involved in the R-1 district will carry onto the R-2 district, exactly as the original ordinance was written,” said McKibben.
The application to own chickens requires residents to pass a course on urban and suburban chicken keeping and complete the chicken keeping checklist prior to housing their new bird friends.
“I leave it to council to chew over, and I wait further direction as it relates to advertising,” concluded Korbel.
The council will move to advertise the updated chicken ordinance at next month’s council meeting.
While hens will likely find a new home in Crafton’s R-2 district, roosters will remain outlawed.