PHILMONT–The Village Board has solved Philmont’s chicken problem by banning the birds, unfazed by the prospect of angry poultry picketing Village Hall.
After months of back-and-forth with a group of residents seeking specific permission to keep chickens, trustees amended the Zoning Code to specifically forbid it. The move came after a series of draft amendments that permitted chicken-keeping were found wanting by the pro-chicken faction.
As originally written in the 1970s, the Philmont Zoning Code prohibited keeping “geese and fowl” but said nothing about chickens.
Trustee Doug Cropper remarked that chickens currently in residence are grandfathered, meaning they are permitted to remain. But they may not be replaced “when they die or are, uh, harvested,” he said.
During a public hearing that preceded the unanimous vote, resident Josephine Tortorici raised a new point: “Anybody knows when you have chickens, you’ll have rats,” as well as foxes and raccoons. “Possums too,” added a man in the audience.
“I’ve never seen an attractive chicken coop,” said another villager.
Also at the meeting, trustees:
*Voted to exempt the village from its own zoning code so that it can build a new Department of Public Works facility on Maple Avenue
*Heard Library Director Karen Garafalo report that the recent book sale brought in $907 in sales plus $15 in donations. She said 18 teen volunteers organized and conducted the sale, putting in 150 hours. Those who worked 6 hours or more were Conner Schroder, Erin Jacobsen, Emily Tipple, John Tice, Julia Skoda, Charlotte Hoppe, Jeffrey Montague, Janelle Rich, Ryan Maisenbacher and Gigi Markham
*Heard Ms. Tortorici ask for more police attention to Summit Street, where, she said, cars and motorcycles “come roaring down” at speeds well in excess of the posted 30-mph limit.