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April 01. 2014 11:36PM

Aldermen OK chickens on Manchester lots a half-acre or larger

MANCHESTER — The Board of Mayor and Alderman approved an ordinance Tuesday that will allow chickens on parcels a half-acre or larger, despite protests from some residents that the lot size is too restrictive.

Versions of chicken regulations have been debated since 2012; the ordinance approved Tuesday was seen as a compromise. It would allow residents to have up to six hens on properties that are at least a half-acre.

The vast majority of lots in Manchester are smaller than a half-acre.

People on smaller lots would have to seek a variance from the city Zoning Board to keep chickens.

During the public comment period before the meeting, several residents argued for an ordinance that would permit chickens on smaller lots.

“If you’re going to pass chickens, then let people have reasonable guidelines,” Tammy Simmons said.“If you pass too restrictive an ordinance, then you’re really not allowing chickens, and you’re putting the burden on the Zoning Board.”Simmons said she did some research and found that under the proposed ordinance, only three of the 14 aldermen would be allowed to have chickens.

The ordinance will undergo further review. A public hearing will be scheduled. The ordinance still must be approved by the Committee on Bills on Second Reading, which can make technical changes.

tsiefer@unionleader.com


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