Township residents keeping chickens may be 'afowl' of the law

Ken Lahmers
Special to MyTownNEO
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NORTHFIELD CENTER – Township residents who harbor chickens may be cited for a zoning violation pending whether the zoning commission and trustees decide to keep or change the current regulations.

Trustees discussed the matter May 27. Under the zoning resolution, hens are prohibited from being kept in platted subdivisions, but are legal in unplatted areas. Roosters are prohibited because they are considered to be a nuisance.

“We should be citing the offenders,” said Trustee Russ Mazzola. “Residents who want to house hens could approach the board of zoning appeals for a variance, or we could rewrite the code to allow them.”

Zoning inspector Don Saunders said one resident recently went to the BZA for a variance. He explained a variance doesn’t set a precedent for everyone because the BZA rules on each case independently.

Saunders said he believes there are at least five or six residents in violation of zoning code regulations relating to chickens, and three have been cited in the past several months.

Zoning commission member Dan Schade said the panel has talked about the issue and is working on possible revisions of the code. “We should let the commission come up with something and go from there,” suggested Trustee Rich Reville.

“I agree people should obey the zoning code, but we have many bigger issues to worry about than whether people should be allowed to keep chickens,” said Trustee Paul Buescher.

It was decided that for now the township will make residents aware on its website and through other means what the regulations are regarding keeping chickens and other agricultural animals.

A  HEAT  DILEMMA

Trustees approved purchasing new pieces of playground equipment – particularly a merry-go-round and slide – for Beacon Hills Park from GameTime for $4,938.

Reville explained the township is having a problem with previously purchased pieces of equipment being extremely hot and uncomfortable for children using them. He said blue-colored pieces are the culprits.

He noted the company has not agreed to replace the equipment for free, and trustees are consulting with their legal counsel to see whether any action can be taken.

Parks-recreation committee member Rick Patz said the township plans to keep the replaced pieces so a team from the University of Akron can analyze the heat problem and hopefully help other communities from suffering the same fate.

The existing pieces will be cordoned off until they are replaced by the new pieces, which likely will be yellow since that color does not heat up as much.

Meanwhile, Patz reported a new security camera at Beacon Hills Park is working well. The park is under surveillance 24/7 for damage prevention and the protection of users. Parents will be responsible for any damage to the premises caused by their children.

OTHER TWP. NEWS

The township has announced the Summit County engineer’s office has retained Davey Resource Group to perform vegetation mitigation in certain subdivisions.

The basins are located outside roadways and within easements behind homes. Davey Resource employees will enter private properties covered by easements to observe current field conditions and perform mitigation.

Work is scheduled through Nov. 30, and Davey employees will carry full personal identification.

A traffic signal at Olde Eight and Twinsburg roads has been approved by the Ohio Department of Transportation, and the scheduled construction date is mid-July.

Highland Road will be closed starting June 14 and until about mid-November for replacement of the bridge over Brandywine Creek, about 400 feet east of Olde Eight Road. Kenmore Construction Co. was awarded a contract not to exceed $560,688.

Macedonia Firemen’s Local 3947 is sponsoring its first gardening competition. All displays must be finalized by July 19 for judging until July 26. The registration fee is $25. For more information and to register, visit t.ly/VsDR or email fd3947fundraising@gmail.com.

Contact the newspaper at newsleader@recordpub.com.