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New Castle Considers Relaxing Limit On Raising Chickens

New Castle Town Board members at their March 3 work session.
New Castle Town Board members at their March 3 work session. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- New Castle officials are looking into the possibility of relaxing the town's existing limit on acreage needed to raise chickens.

At their work session on March 3, Town Board members expressed a willingness to pursue the possibility, although nobody firmly committed to legislative change.

Currently, zoning requires parcels of at least 10 acres in order to raise poultry, according to Town Administrator Jill Shapiro, who agreed to research how neighboring municipalities handle the issue as the next step.

Councilman Jason Chapin reacted to Shapiro's research suggestion by saying it would be "helpful." He also wondered if officials need to consider whether someone would have to request a variance.

A variance is an exemption to the town's zoning code, which can be granted on a case-by-case basis by the town's Zoning Board of Appeals.

Deputy Supervisor Lisa Katz expressed an openness to changing the restriction, although she voiced an interest in learning about the implications, citing disease and vermin as concerns.

Councilman Adam Brodsky wanted to make sure that such a change would not allow for what would be a slaughterhouse in a residential neighborhood.

Town Supervisor Rob Greenstein was not opposed to the concept but voiced concern about more chicken- raising leading to attraction of coyotes.

Interaction with coyotes has become a contentious issue in New Castle. Last month, two local committee offered different recommendations on when it is appropriate to kill the creatures. Daily Voice's previous coverage of the topic is available here.

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