Chickens approved for Lakeview Avenue

Chickens approved for Lakeview Avenue

LINCOLN – Chickens will now be allowed at a Lakeview Avenue residence after a special use permit was approved Tuesday.

Thomas and Michelle Farrell will be allowed to house no more than 10 chickens on their property after Lincoln’s Zoning Board approved a special use permit for the family on Tuesday evening.

Thomas Farrell said he raised chickens for roughly 10 years at his former property in Lincoln, so he’s prepared to keep up with the flock.

“I read the article,” he said, referencing a recent Breeze story about Zoning Official Russell Hervieux’s concerns with Lincoln’s loose zoning laws regulating chickens. Hervieux said the majority of Lincoln residents who have chickens did not go through the town for permission – and that some of the lesser-maintained coops have drawn unwanted animals and neighbor complaints.

Farrell said he’s a professional fence installer with experience raising chickens, so he doesn’t foresee any issues with unwanted pests, or with neighbors.

“Only one neighbor would be near the coop, and she’s so far away I doubt she would even hear them. But if there are any concerns I would address them,” he said.

He said there are allergies in the family, so they need the eggs.

Zoning Board Chairman David DeAngelis asked whether the town usually caps the number of chickens at a specific number. Hervieux said it usually goes by the applicant, but that six is the standard number.

Farrell said he was asking for 10 because in all likelihood he would only end up with around six, and he is looking to pad the flock.

Town Solicitor Tony DeSisto joked: “I’m hoping Mr. Farrell has good security over these chickens, the last thing we need is them flying the coop.” Striking a more serious tone, he said baby chicks do not count toward the total number of chickens, only adults do.

“I can tell you the overwhelming amount of towns that allow chickens to be kept cap the number at six and ban roosters,” he said. “I don’t want roosters in backyards in residential areas.”

Farrell said he has zero intention of keeping roosters. “I would cull them right away,” he said.

DeAngelis asked Farrell to describe his plans for the chicken coop, noting that there’s more to raising chickens than potential noise complaints about “roosters and cock-a-doodle-doing.”

“Now people are also interested in whether the chickens will attract predators like coyote and fisher cats,” he said.

Farrell said he plans to house the flock in an 8-by-8 wooden coop, surrounded by a chain-link fence buried into the ground so “nothing can get in and nothing can get out.” He said the coop would be cleaned weekly, and that they would not be selling the eggs.

He said he kept chickens at his former property on the Central Falls border for nearly a decade.

“I’m not new to this. I’ve had a lot of experience keeping chickens and never had any complaints about smells or anything,” he said.

There were some questions regarding an unresolved violation on Farrell’s property regarding a commercial vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Farrell said he would start parking the truck at his property in Cumberland.

If the truck shows up on the Lakeview Avenue property again, Hervieux said Farrell would be in violation of his special use permit for chickens.

In addition to approving a special use permit to raise chickens, the board voted to approve a request for rear setback relief to Thomas and Pamela Ryan to construct a carport off of an existing garage on Memorial Avenue. Work on the carport was halted recently after a complaint was filed that construction was being done without approval.