September 22, 2021

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We know our pets

O’Hara resident threatened with fines implores township to reconsider chicken ordinance

Just one O’Hara guy is contacting foul on a township ordinance that bans chickens.

Dan Meinert, an O’Hara resident of 61 a long time, stated he has experienced chickens in his yard for a ten years. They’re like animals, and preferred with his neighbors, with whom he shares clean eggs, Meinert explained.

“We have the chickens to get the eggs, for the reason that we like to know in which our foodstuff arrives from,” he explained. “The eggs are a great deal healthier than the ones you get at the retail outlet.”

Meinert claimed he experienced hardly ever gotten a complaint about his 11 chickens — until June 29, when he bought a letter from the township telling him to take out the flock or experience $500 in fines every day.

Though he’d experienced the chickens for 10 yrs, Meinert claimed he was unaware that retaining chickens in O’Hara violates a township ordinance.

“Our zoning ordinance does not permit farm animals on household houses and has been that way for numerous several years,” Township Supervisor Julie Jakubec said.

Soon after relocating his chickens to a friend’s residence, Meinert explained, he is now urging neighborhood officers to rethink the ordinance.

“I’m not the only a person who would like chickens,” he explained, introducing that he considered many others in the township also owned chickens without realizing their flocks weren’t authorized.

Township officers instructed Meinert a neighbor lately alerted them to his chickens, which is why they threatened to impose fines this summer time, Meinert mentioned.

“There’s no reason not to have chickens,” he reported. “There’s no smell from them. I retain them penned up. They’ve never gotten loose and gotten into everyone else’s garden.”

The preparing commission is slated to talk about the problem during their upcoming conference on Sept. 20. The meeting will be held by using Zoom.

“It’s a extremely complex situation,” Jakubec reported, explaining that the township delved into the dilemma in 2019 prior to amending neighborhood ordinances in 2020. “We had listened to from folks on each sides of the concern back in ‘19, some folks wishing to have chickens and some folks wishing their neighbors not to because of many motives.”

But Meinert stated he’s hopeful that local officials will amend the ordinance and enable him to bring his flock back again to his home.

“I’d like to see them alter their ordinances to be additional in line with other communities in the space, like the City of Pittsburgh,” he said.

Less than Pittsburgh’s urban agriculture zoning disorders, people who have adequate property can have chickens and even goats.

McCandless in August handed a new ordinance allowing chickens, and a lawsuit last summertime granted citizens of Fayette County the right to maintain pet chickens.

Julia Felton is a Tribune-Evaluate team writer. You can get in touch with Julia at 724-226-7724, [email protected] or by using Twitter .