Chickens flocking to village?

04/29/2010 12:00 AM |

There’s a lot of clucking about chickens going on in Greenport these days. If Trustee Michael Osinski has his way, Greenport Village could soon become the chicken capital of Long Island, or at least the East End.

Board members passed Mr. Osinski’s proposal Monday night to set a June 28 public hearing to consider a law that would let every villager keep up to 20 chickens — but no roosters.

The vote brought more than a few comments at Monday night’s board meeting, starting with Jim Baumann, an Oyster Point Condominium resident. He calculated that if each unit of his condo had two residents, that would allow 40 chickens per apartment or a total of 1,400 chickens in his neighborhood alone.

“I think the roosters would probably be sneaking in at night,” he speculated. “I hope you guys take a very close look at this.”

But Mr. Osinski held firm, asserting that in Brooklyn, residents are each allowed up to 99 chickens. But not too many Brooklyn residents avail themselves of the opportunity to have 99 chickens, he said, adding he doubted most villagers would choose to keep chickens.

Ms. Osinksi’s assertion could not be confirmed. The website “Edible Brooklyn” has an article on chickens that reports New York City law considers hens “pets” and allows residents to have any number of them so long as they are not a nuisance to neighbors. They must be kept in runs or coops and are not allowed to roam free; ducks, geese, roosters and turkeys are not allowed, according to the city health code.

John Saladino, a resident known for doing his homework, said Monday night he went to the Internet to look at the pros and cons of keeping chickens. He claimed that there are three factors on which both proponents and opponents agree:

* Chickens can jump really high — about eight feet in the air — and Greenport code limits fencing to six feet.

* Chickens attract rodents, and while that may not mean rats in Greenport, Mr. Saladino thought it could result in other unwelcome pests that would be less than popular with villagers.

* Chickens don’t smell good.

“I’m not sure what Mike’s motivation is,” Mr. Saladino said.

That had been answered by the trustee at the Village Board work session a week earlier. He said then there are residents already keeping chickens illegally and he thought the village should codify what it will or won’t allow.

A look out the window of Village Hall on many spring and summer days confirms that chickens dwell in Greenport. They often can be seen strutting up and down Third Street.

And that raises questions for others who wonder what the Suffolk County Department of Health Services might have to say about the board’s proposal and just how chickens would have to be penned if they are allowed in the village.

At the June 28 hearing, board members and residents will get to cluck over the issues before a vote opens the door to the fowl.


Despite a few protests from residents the previous week at the work session, Village Board members voted unanimously to allow the Long Island Wine Council to hold a food and wine festival in Mitchell Park on Sunday, June 27.

“I think it’s a great event and we’re very happy that you’re coming here,” Trustee Chris Kempner told wine council executive director Steven Bate.

Mr. Bate agreed that the wine council would assume responsibility for any unforeseen costs such as possible overtime for village workers.

The Mitchell Park event will cap a three-day program set to begin Friday, June 25, with a reception for dignitaries and press at a venue to be named and a full day of activities at various vineyards, restaurants and businesses throughout the North Fork on Saturday, June 26. Tickets for the Mitchell Park food and wine tasting are $40 and the program will run from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 27.


The public will soon get to weigh in on the proposed Bay to Sound Integrated Trails Initiative, which calls for a walking trail from Mitchell Park to Long Island Sound, including a path through Moore’s Woods and along the western boundary of Silver Lake. The hearing will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 24, at the Third Street firehouse.

A second public hearing is slated that night on a proposal to codify the village’s ban on basement apartments. That hearing will immediately follow the Bay to Sound hearing.

Teachers HONORed

Mayor Nyce offered a proclamation declaring May 2-8 PTA Teacher Appreciation Week in Greenport, honoring teachers for their dedication and commitment to educating children.

A second proclamation honored longtime Greenport Planning Board president Penny Coyle for more than 30 years of service to the village and for her personal dedication as a former teacher and current tutor.

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