Sussex resident asks for chicken ordinance change

Sussex Borough. A 20-year resident of Sussex Borough came before the Borough Council asking for a change to the borough’s ordinance regarding raising chickens. His daughter incubated chickens for a school project two years ago and recently learned they were prohibited on their property.

| 06 Oct 2022 | 12:23

A Sussex Borough resident requested on Oct. 5 that the Borough Council adopt an ordinance that would allow his to raise chickens on his property

Kirt Young, a borough resident of about 20 years, said about two years ago, his daughter incubated chickens as a high school project and during that process the family fell in love with the chickens. They then bought a coop and raised the chickens in the backyard of their property.

However, they recently learned that Sussex Borough’s ordinance doesn’t allow the raising of chickens unless they have 6 or more acres of property.

“I was astounded to learn that in a rural community such as Sussex that chicken raising is prohibited when places such as Hackensack, Teaneck ... and New York City of all places allow chickens with reasonable restrictions,” Young said.

Mayor Edward Meyer said he and the council would take that into consideration.

“I can’t say we’re going to get a change regarding that,” Meyer said. “But we can take into consideration. Given that most people have less than 100-by-100 lots, that makes it very difficult for anyone to raise chickens.”

Young said people in Franklin with smaller lots than that are allowed to raise chickens and Teaneck residents with 500-by-100 lots or smaller are allowed to have chickens.

In 2018, Vernon Township passed an ordinance allowing residential lots of at least 100-by-200 to keep up to six chickens. Residential property of one acre but less than five acres may keep up to 15 chickens.

Young’s property is less than a half-acre according to real estate records.

“This is something that is getting more and more popular across the United States,” he said. “There are millions of people raising chickens in their backyard, and I think that is something we should put forward and reconsider.”