The Town Board of the Town of Fishkill, to protect the people of the Town from certain nuisances caused by other animals running at large and other uncontrolled behavior, enacts the following restrictions on the harboring and keeping of farm animals and other exotic nonindigenous animals within the Town.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- FARM ANIMALS
- Includes, but is not limited to, chickens, goats, cows and swine (farm pigs).
- NONINDIGENOUS ANIMALS
- Includes, but is not limited to, snakes, monkeys, Vietnamese potbellied pigs and birds.
[Amended 2-21-2018 by L.L. No. 1-2018]
No person shall keep farm animals unless that person shall comply with Chapter 150, Zoning. Specifically, any person keeping farm animals shall comply with Items 9 and 10 of "Permitted Accessory Uses" in the Schedule of Regulations for Residential Districts.
Editor's Note: Chickens are already permitted on lots of five acres or more. This local law does not change any of the provisions regulating those activities.
No person shall keep chickens on a lot of under five acres unless that person shall comply with Chapter 150, Zoning and with the provisions of this article. Specifically, any person keeping poultry shall comply with Item 10 of "Permitted Accessory Uses" in the Schedule of Regulations for Residential Districts' and with the provisions of this section.
Any person wishing to keep chickens on residential property of under five acres in the Town of Fishkill shall first obtain a permit from the Town Building Department and pay a fee, as set forth in the Town Fee Schedule. The permit application shall be on such forms as are provided by the Building Department. The written consent of the owner(s) of the subject real property shall be required for any application made by a person other than the property owner(s). The permit shall be valid for a period of one year from issuance.
Persons keeping chickens on residential property of under five acres as of the date of the adoption of this section shall have 30 days in which to apply for and obtain a permit.
Permits may be renewed by application to the Building Inspector. If no violations have been reported, the permit may be renewed for successive one-year periods. If violations have been reported, they must be remedied before the permit will be reissued. Inspection of the premises by the Building Inspector may be required.
Standards for the keeping of chickens. The keeping of chickens shall be subject to the following conditions and requirements, which shall be observed at all times:
Chickens shall be provided with adequate food and water at all times.
Chickens shall be kept within a fenced enclosure.
All chicken enclosures must be clean and free of noticeable odors across property lines.
A person granted a permit pursuant to this section may keep a number of chickens on his/her property at one time which complies with a living space allocation of 14 square feet of enclosure space per chicken, provided the number of chickens kept on a single property shall not exceed six. "Enclosure space" shall be defined herein as the combined square footage of the outside enclosure space and any interior coop space.
All enclosures shall be in the rear yard of the property on which they are located. Enclosures shall be kept no closer than 15 feet to any dwelling, whether located on the permitted property or an adjacent lot. The total combined outdoor enclosure and coop space may not exceed 10% of the total yard square footage. The enclosure shall be deemed a structure requiring approval from the Building Department and must meet all setback and other bulk requirements of the zoning district where located.
No property may have more than one enclosure for the keeping of chickens. A single mobile enclosure, such as a chicken tractor, is allowed for the purpose of free-ranging or isolating chickens, provided its use is restricted to the rear and side yards of the property on which it is located.
All enclosures shall be constructed and maintained in such a manner as will safely and securely house chickens and shall be kept free of rodent infestation at all times.
Pens, coop or houses shall be suitably screened from the view of surrounding residences and surrounding streets by a fence or by trees or shrubs, unless said pen, coop or house is located in such a manner as not to be visible from surrounding residences and streets.
Chickens may be allowed outside of coops for the purpose of free-ranging, i.e., feeding and exercise within the enclosure, provided it shall be unlawful for any chickens to run at large. "Run at large" shall be defined herein as chickens escaping or otherwise leaving the permitted property outside the confines of a cage or enclosure used for their transportation. It shall also be a violation for any chicken running at large to uproot, dig or otherwise damage any vegetables, lawns, flowers, garden beds or personal or real property not belonging to the owner of such chickens.
All feed and other materials associated with the keeping of chickens shall be protected in a container with a tightly fitted lid so as to prevent the attraction of rodents or other pests.
Keeping of roosters, ducks, geese, swans, turkeys or any other species of birds or fowl which are not traditionally confined to a cage inside a dwelling is prohibited.
The slaughtering of chickens must be carried out in a sanitary fashion, out of public view and in accordance with all applicable federal, state, county and local laws and regulations. Meat from slaughtered chickens and eggs may not be sold. This subsection shall not apply to lawful poultry, livestock, or butcher operations.
Activities on site shall comply with all applicable provisions of the New York State Agricultural and Markets Law and with all applicable provisions of the New York State Public Health Law.
The Town Board hereby reserves to itself the authority to promulgate regulations to carry forth the intent of these standards.
Any violation of this section will result in a written warning by the Building Inspector, with two weeks to correct the violation. Any person who fails to correct a violation of this section following issuance of a written warning shall be issued a written notice by the Building Inspector requiring the removal of all chickens and related infrastructure from the subject property within two weeks' time. Failure to remove the chickens and related infrastructure within the two-week period pursuant to a removal notice shall constitute a violation of this section, with subsequent violations accruing every day thereafter until compliance. The initial notice of violation pursuant to this section shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine of $50. Any subsequent violation of this section shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 per violation.
Notwithstanding Subsection E(1), the Building Inspector may revoke immediately any permit granted pursuant to this section if the Building Inspector determines, in his/her sole discretion, that the keeping of chickens on the subject property in its then-existing condition presents a nuisance for neighboring properties and/or an unreasonable risk to the health, safety and general welfare of the surrounding neighborhood.
Of those persons keeping farm animals as permitted by Chapter 150, Zoning, no person shall permit those farm animals to run at large. No person shall permit exotic and nonindigenous animals that are kept as pets to escape confinement and travel at large among the public.
No person shall keep or harbor swine on a property unless that person shall comply with § 150-33A of Chapter 150, Zoning. Specifically, any person keeping or harboring swine shall comply with Items 9 and 10 of "Permitted Accessory Uses" in the Schedule of Regulations for Residential Districts. No person shall keep or harbor swine in any pen, sty or other enclosure situated nearer than 500 feet from any dwelling or house, other than that constituting the actual residence of the animal's owner or the actual residences of the owner's employee(s).
No more than two exotic, nonindigenous animals shall be kept on the premises at any time.
This article shall be enforced by the Animal Control Officer, or any police officer of the Town, who shall have the power to issue appearance tickets. Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both. Sentences may be imposed for each day of the violation.