After failing to come to an accord with Sag Harbor Village Building Inspector Tim Platt over the intent of a law passed just last year, the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees will move forward with new legislation that presents clearer guidelines for keeping chickens on residential properties in the village.
According to Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride, that legislation will be introduced at the board’s June 12 meeting at 6 p.m.
Last year, working with resident Mare Dianora, the board developed a chicken law to allow residents the right to keep chickens.
According to the final law, “the number of chickens and bantams shall not exceed six per 20,000 square-feet of lot area and in no event more than 18 on any parcel.” The law also prohibits the sale of poultry or eggs by residents who have legalized their chickens through a permit granted by the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board. Coops or any structures used to house the animals are limited to 100 square-feet or 10 feet in height and must be kept in the rear yard. A coop must also meet a 20-foot setback to the property line and any outdoor pen must meet the standard for an accessory structure, keeping a distance of 10-feet from a property line.
When Dianora approached the planning board with an application to keep three chickens on her 13,000 square-foot, Grand Street property (the first resident to apply under the new law) she was informed that Platt had ruled she would have to go to the zoning board of appeals (ZBA). This was due to the fact that according to Platt’s interpretation of the law, residents must have a minimum of 20,000 square-feet, or a half acre of land, to have any chickens at all.
While members of the village board vocally disagreed at a work session last week, according to Mayor Gilbride introducing a new, clearer law is the quickest way to allow residents to keep chickens as was originally intended.