Radnor Board Pecks at Backyard Chicken Idea

Garrett Hill resident Sara Pilling is leading a movement for backyard egg-laying hens.

The proposal to create an ordinance that would allow and regulate backyard chickens in Radnor Township did not get clucks of support from the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners on Monday night.

Resident Sara Pilling was requesting that Radnor revise or replace the existing code that only allows hatcheries on 10 acres in an agricultural area to allow, with restrictions, a coop as an accessory use in all residential zones.

"There are lots of chickens in Radnor Township right now. But we’d like to see them legal and regulated and protected," Pilling told the board.

Board president Bill Spingler said he has never seen any chickens in Radnor and that he does not support the idea. "If I had two, three chickens in my yard, the neighbors around me are not going to all be supportive of that," he said.

A motion was made to have township staff work with Pilling and other supporters to craft a draft ordinance. Elaine Paul Schaefer, John Nagle and John Fisher voted for the motion while Spingler, Don Curley and Kevin Higgins voted against it. Commissioner Jim Higgins did not vote because he was not in the room for the discussion, so a tied vote equals no action on the board's part.

Curley did tell Pilling to get him information on chicken ordinances and he would read it over.

What do you think of the backyard chickens proposal?

tchardo September 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM
What is all this land for? Let citizens grow their vegetables and raise hens. The ones who voted no have obviously never tasted a fresh egg from a backyard hen!
Skip Shuda September 27, 2012 at 12:47 PM
I'm in favor... lets move to more sustainable lifestyles. The primary concern of noise would be addressed by preventing roosters.
I Lived Here for 25 Years & Finally Moved Out September 27, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Ignorance on the part of a few Commissioners. No roosters = no noise.
Paul B. September 27, 2012 at 02:44 PM
This is so Radnor, having to ask the authorities for rights we already have. Radnor Zoning Code enforcement is fraught with examples of this kind of thing, buck passing and kicking the can down the road, applying "this is how we do it" standards instead of applying the code. I could go on, but about the chickens: There is no code restricting residents from having hens or using the eggs; the code limits hatcheries. The defining feature of a hatchery is the hatching, i.e. the breeding of chickens. If you want to raise chickens, you need a farm, just like the code suggests. If you don't want to raise chickens, don't get a rooster. You'll get eggs, not chickens. And don't bother talking to the board, either. You don't need their permission, and you won't get it. It's just as likely this effort will inspire them to write a new law preventing this as supporting it. Then our children will have to get their eggs from the new Giant as nature and the township intended.
Richard A. Teichman September 27, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Board President Spingler either needs new glasses or he has no clue what is going on in Radnor Twp. Perhaps he forgets how some of the locals hated the idea of a Radnor Trail...now they love it. The same with chickens...know them and love them. This township is the laughing-stock of the region.
Joyce September 27, 2012 at 06:08 PM
I agree with the previous comments. I put in a raised veggie garden this spring and have fruit trees going in next month. Would love to have chickens. Between the veggies, fruit and chickens, I could be pretty self-reliant eventually. Chickens are great. Let's start a movement toward sustainable living on the Main Line.
Sam Strike (Editor) September 27, 2012 at 06:23 PM
If you are in support of it (or against it) I would suggest writing to your commissioner. I think Paul B.'s point is interesting - we now have a Bed and Breakfast because people challenged the code and said that the township did not provide for them at all and therefore they were allowed in. Could the same be done for chickens?
Ijustthrewupalittlebitinmymouth September 27, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Future Patch headlines: "Children traumatized by slaughtered chickens. Police suspect fox." "Yorkie Poo mauled by fox during early morning chicken coop raid" "Dog owner sued over death of beloved chickens." "Youngster sustains snake bite while gathering chicken eggs." "Hospitals see increase in Histoplasmosis cases." "Send in your photo for the cutest chicken contest"
Patricia Schreck September 27, 2012 at 06:52 PM
One of our family members has hens (not in Radnor I hasten to add). They are very quiet, attractive and have produced delicious eggs for many years without the need for antibiotics and all the other artificial things mass-produced eggs are famous for. This should have been a five minute discussion and approved just as having hens is approved in Tredyffrin. Come on Radnor, wake up! Until then, as my sister suggests, maybe we should get hens and have them registered as ‘pet therapy hens’, ‘service hens’ or ‘seeing eye hens’ to escape the wicked Radnor regulations. They could even travel on planes for free! Pat S
Radnortownship September 27, 2012 at 07:01 PM
The GOVT does NOT want citizens to be self reliant. GOVT wants citizens to be reliant on.....GOVT & CORPORATIONS. Then again maybe its a conspiracy and the Wayne Farmers Market is to blame!
John F. Haines September 27, 2012 at 07:46 PM
To see the Sept. 24, 2012 Board of Commissioners Meeting, please go to www.youtube.com/jhainessr While there, please subscribe to my channel for future meetings. Thank you.
Sue September 27, 2012 at 07:47 PM
There must be more important things for the township to do. Raising chickens should be a personal choice. SP
Genevieve Snyder September 27, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Backyard chickens allow people to humanely source eggs, ones that have not been irradiated or given feed laced with antibiotics. Raising hens saves on fuel costs that are incurred when shipping eggs long distance. No more egg cartons means less trash. Hens aerate and fertilize the lawn without harsh chemicals. And they are a natural insect control. They eat ticks. I am surprised this alone doesn't make their addition more desirable. Ticks are a far greater danger to the township's health and well being than a few chickens. They do all this and they do it quietly.
Sara Pilling September 27, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Thank you ALL for your interesting comments [and support]. 'Paul B' has an interesting thought and 'work around' to this issue of 'Chickens in Radnor'. We will not shut up and disappear, but work together to convince the BOC that this is an innocuous issue and a move toward sustainable living. cluck-cluck!
I Lived Here for 25 Years & Finally Moved Out September 27, 2012 at 10:56 PM
The only chickens allowed in Radnor are on the Board of Commisioners :)
bawk bawk September 28, 2012 at 12:35 AM
I support this wholeheartedly. This is the future. I remember 20 years ago when some old fogeys against the Radnor trail we worried about teenagers using their backyards as places to listen to loud rock music on boom boxes, and I quote: "run around like wild Indians" I have yet to see hear any reports of residents being hit by arrows or tomahawks so I guess these racist fears were unfounded. Everybody loves the trail now and the only complaint I heard was about some downed trees making the trail impassible for a few weeks while they inspected the other trees to make sure it was safe Maybe racism is the motivation again. Does anyone oppose this new measure as they think it may encourage "Hippies and Mexicans" to move here? Because this is what I've seen get said in other places I think Ageism might be an issue too as many of the supporters are under age 40.
Chris Kaasmann September 28, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Just my two cents... down the hill in Upper Merion all you need to keep chickens is to ask for a special exception and go before the zoning hearing board. Here is a link to a recent resident's successful attempt and what he did to ensure he was successful. The key, in my opinion was getting immediate neighbor support. Good luck! http://www.umtownship.org/archives/39/ZHBDEC201108.pdf
Bill Nut September 28, 2012 at 03:25 AM
"If I had two, three chickens in my yard, the neighbors around me are not going to all be supportive of that," What neighnors do you have? I had a neighbor who had chickens and they didnt bother me at all! I would even watch and feed them while they were away. More stupidity coming from the "board".
Sharpie September 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Here, here, Paul. You're a hero! Talk about a dizzy and dopey side show. The people on this planet are nuts if they continue to buy this baloney. How much baloney can one stomach.
Sharpie September 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Oh, Patricia, you're a hero too! We don't have chickens just yet, but the laughs are getting better!
Sharpie September 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Gotta love it too..
Renov8 September 29, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Just wait until the MSM gets a hold of this "breaking news". The commishioners are out of touch. When was the last time they did something resourceful?
I Lived Here for 25 Years & Finally Moved Out September 29, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Spingler's comment ranks right up with some of Biden's brilliant remarks! Maybe they're brothers :)
John Rogers September 30, 2012 at 02:22 AM
I'd prefer more chickens and fewer poorly driven Range Rovers in Radnor, but that's just me.
Jennifer Rogers October 03, 2012 at 01:16 AM
I, for one, like knowing where the food I prepare for my child comes from. Raising chickens in your backyard provides just that, as well as many valuable life lessons.


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