Town’s chicken ordinance still a month away from final action

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – Chickens will have to wait at least another month before they can start moving into residential neighborhoods in the town.

The Town Board Tuesday directed Town Attorney Jim Hughes to make a few more refinements to the ordinance which would allow chickens on properties zoned residential in the town.

Hughes told the board he had not finished rewriting the city of Plymouth’s ordinance on chickens in residential neighborhoods to meet the town’s needs.

He noted that the city ordinance requires a license to keep chickens, with an inspection by the building inspector and a license fee.

“I’ll set it up so that you have to have a conditional use permit to have chickens,” rather than the license and inspection requirement, Hughes said.

He added that the city code has a provision that all neighbors of a property owner seeking to keep chickens must approve. “If you agree, I’ll leave that in.”

At the request of a town resident, supervisors agreed to allow one rooster on any residential property along with the limit of five hens. The city ordinance does not allow any roosters in the city.

Supervisors also suggested that the limit on the number of roosters and hens could be per acre, rather than per property, since most residential lots in the town are larger than they are in the city.

Hughes noted that some residential lots in the town are two or three acres in size.

“If you have that much land, maybe it should be five chickens per acre,” Supervisor Glenn Kruschke said, as well as one rooster.

Hughes said he would complete the proposed ordinance with the suggested changes before the board’s next meeting so supervisors could act on it then.

“It’s easier to put something in now and strike it out later,” Kruschke noted.

Greg Parmley of Parms Landscape Management held an informal discussion with the board on his future plans for his business on State 57.

“There are a bunch of things I’d like to do over the next couple of years and I kind of wanted to run it by you guys,” Parmley told the board.

The first step would be to build a shop/ storage building on the property across from Green Tree Road, hopefully in the next year or so, Parmley said.

Further on, Parmley said he might like to open a landscape supply store in the next two to four years.

“Eventually, there’s going to have to be a zoning change because I’m currently zoned residential with a conditional use permit,” Parmley explained.

“The zoning is probably going to have to come before the building. Once you have people coming and going you have a business,”

Town Chairman Warren Luedke observed.

Parmley responded that the first building would not be a commercial building, but primarily for storage of vehicles and materials, so there would be no customers.

“The test is whether the property remains primarily residential or business,” Hughes advised.

“If possible, I would like to get the (first) building built before rezoning,” Parmley allowed.

He added that he had requested a second driveway to the property off State 57, but that had been denied by the state Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over accesses to the state highway.

Parmley did say he hopes to get DOT approval at some point to move his driveway location.

He told the board he would meet with Hughes to discuss his future plans and needs in more detail before coming back to the board.

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