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SYLVANIA TOWNSHIP

Regulations over keeping chickens unchanged

Trustees let stand rule of 1 farm animal per acre

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Sylvania Township leaders have decided to leave zoning regulations in place that limit chickens and other farm animals to one per acre in light of recent concerns about chicken coops in the township.

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Sylvania Township leaders have decided to leave zoning regulations in place that limit chickens and other farm animals to one per acre in light of recent concerns about chicken coops in the township.

During a recent board meeting, township Trustee Kevin Haddad asked whether some sort of change was appropriate, saying he has received complaints against keeping chickens and requests for relaxing the rules to allow more chickens in more densely populated neighborhoods.

It people use pens as small as 6-feet-square, and without a rooster, the chickens may not be intrusive to neighbors, Mr. Haddad said.

Daryl Graus, the township’s planning and zoning manager, said the township has received eight complaints about chickens in the last year.

He met last month with township trustees Neal Mahoney and John Jennewine to discuss whether increasing demand for home-fresh eggs warrants changing the zoning code.

“Our last zoning manager warned us this was coming,” Mr. Jennewine said. “When we crafted the law, we didn’t want anything too restrictive, since that’s why people choose to live in a township.”

He pointed out code enforcement is complaint-driven. A recent complaint sparked the township to allow residents to make anonymous complaints.

According to township records, Sylvania city resident Anne Seeger, who declined to comment, complained about township resident Tim Livingston’s chicken coop. When Mr. Livingston called her to question the complaint, she contacted John Zeitler, the township administrator.

“She brought to our attention to review the policy for taking complaints,” Mr. Zeitler said.

Mr. Livingston said he bought a half acre on Rudyard Road, where neighboring homeowners had maintained coops before their removal because of complaints, to grow his own food.

“What’s next? Will they say I can’t grow my own food?” he said. “The property had a tradition of farming. The former owner raised chickens there for more than 20 years.”

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