November 21, 2014

Medina
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Brunswick council: You can keep the chickens

BRUNSWICK — Chicken and rooster owners in the city have a reason to crow.

City Council members killed legislation Thursday that would have limited chicken ownership to lots greater than 1.5 acres.

At Council’s Building and Building Code Committee meeting Thursday night, Chairman Anthony Capretta, 4th Ward, and member Ron Falconi, at-large, said they have no interest in regulating chicken ownership.

“There haven’t been many complaints, and if there are complaints, they can be addressed using laws already on the books,” Falconi said.

Seven Brunswick chicken owners who attended the meeting to support their pets and source of eggs said they were glad the committee dropped the legislation.

“All my birds are USDA certified and we do all the tests to ensure they’re safe,” said Jon Yavanno, who has owned up to 300 chickens during peak breeding season.

Yavanno said he has a number of chicken customers in the Brunswick area and he also gives chicks to any child with an interest in raising one for a 4-H project.

Dan Gladish, the city’s acting chief building official, said the only complaints received about chickens are regarding noise or smell. He said rules on the books regarding cleanliness and noise can be used to enforce those problems, but he said he hasn’t found many problems among chicken owners.

“We can go out there and tell them to make sure they keep it clean,” he said.

Neighbors can be asked if they would like to file a formal report, but so far that hasn’t happened.

“There hasn’t been anyone to date who’s willing to push it forward to that next step,” Gladish said.

Yavanno and other chicken owners said they hope to educate their neighbors and the Brunswick community on the perks of having chickens.

“They’re good to create fertilizer and they’re great at eating bugs,” Caroline Levandusky said.

Kristie Colbert said her neighbors already are catching on to the joys of owning chickens.

“My kids really love them and the eggs are wonderful,” she said. “We hand out eggs to our neighbors.”

Colbert said their chickens are treated like pets, they’re well cared for and trained.

“They like to ride in the car and they come when you call,” she said.

Angela Palumbo, who has owned up to 30 chickens, said she strives to keep her yard clean.

Once, when a skunk became stuck in the fence, she called animal control to her home.

“The animal control officer walked in my yard and he was surprised I had chickens,” Palumbo said. “They can’t be that big of a problem if the officer didn’t know.”

Palumbo said the lack of regulations regarding chickens factored into her decision to buy a home in Brunswick.

“We looked at the ordinances here before we bought the home,” she said.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.