By Dedra Cordle
A recent survey conducted by members of the village of Urbancrest’s health and safety committee has found that a majority of residents do not want to live among farm animals of any kind.
At the Nov. 10 council meeting, committee chairwoman Alicia Wiggins reported that 60 percent of residents interviewed in the door-to-door survey stated that they were in favor of proposed legislation that would prohibit livestock from being raised in their community.
The comments in favor of the ban ranged from concern about animal waste, the projected future growth of the human population, and the negative perception that sometimes follows urban areas that allow farm animals to be raised within their borders, said Wiggins.
“Some were afraid that it would make the village look too “country,”’ she told the council.
The survey was conducted throughout the week of Nov. 2 and more than 100 households were interviewed, said fellow committee member Deborah Larkins-Jackson. The members of the committee did not interview those living in the Bending Brook apartment complex.
Among the comments made by the 37 percent in favor of allowance, several stated they found the presence of small farm animals such as chickens, ducks and goats to be acceptable as long as their presence would not have a negative effect on the surrounding area.
Wiggins said it was important that this survey be conducted as the council has been mulling the issue of raising farm animals in the village for months now.
“We needed to hear their voices on this issue,” she said.
In July, village council held its first reading on legislation that would prohibit the possession of farm animals and livestock within the village. Under the ordinance, the definition of farm animals include, but are not limited to, pigs, mules, donkeys, miniature horses, ostrich, fox, chickens, pheasant, and chinchillas, to name a few. In regard to livestock, the definition is determined as horses, sheep, goats, poultry, or any other animals that is raised or maintained domestically for food or fiber.
During that meeting, resident Donna Bogue said that while she was in favor of some of the language, she thought the prohibition of animals such as chickens and chinchillas was “pushing it a bit too far.”
At the following meeting, the legislation was tabled upon the recommendation of village law director Rodd Lawrence as it needed modification in regard to formatting, legal clarification, and federal statutes related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The legislation has not been brought back to the table since. Wiggins said it is currently “being tweaked” and will be brought back at a future date.