Resident Cries Fowl Over Chicken Ordinance
Chicken eviction scheduled this week
They are legal in Franklin Lakes, Mahwah, Oakland, Wyckoff, Ridgewood, Montclair, West Milford, Kinnelon, and Jersey City. Surprisingly, they are also allowed in New York City and Brooklyn. But they are not welcome in New Milford.
Chickens. Backyard chickens. Specifically, hens.
According to borough ordinance, "No poultry shall be kept or permitted to be kept in the Borough."
But Jeffrey DelVecchio is taking steps to change that. He and his family have taken many steps towards leading a healthier and more eco-friendly life: installing solar panels, driving a Toyota Prius, growing their own vegetables and using biodegradable diapers.
Raising chickens for fresh eggs just adds to the list of DelVecchio's green endeavors, but the Board of Health doesn't see it that way.
After he was served with a summons, DelVecchio appealed to the Board of Health to reconsider, appealed to the Mayor and Council for support and created an on-line petition in an effort to effect what he, and many others who have signed his petition, believes is positive change.
But the Board of Health is unwilling to make any changes or amendments to the current ordinance and DelVecchio is now at the end of the 45 days that he was given to remove the chickens.
DelVecchio plans to make a last-ditch appeal Wednesday at the Board of Health meeting.
Some officials, such as Councilman Austin Ashley, have expressed support, but for now, the mayor and council are standing by the board's decision.
"I originally was going to get only four (hens) but New Jersey law requires that a minimum of six chicks be purchased at one time," DelVecchio told Patch.
"This is to stop people from buying individual chicks at Easter time for kids," he said. "With the six hens we get many more eggs than we can use. At any given time we have about two dozen eggs in our refrigerator."
DelVecchio's family has become quite attached to the chicks. His 5-year old son, Benjamin, named two of them Fluffy. His wife, Brooke, named one Scrappy Coco. Although the other three remain nameless, they are still part of the family, he said.
The next Board of Health meeting will be held at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday in the Health Department located in the lower level of Borough Hall.
Stay tuned for more updates on the chicken eviction.