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Nisky chicks kicked from coop

Helm previously stressed that the chickens were not used "for gain" and all the eggs produced were either kept by the family or given away to friends and residents for free.

The judge didn't with Helm's interpretation of what "for gain" means, which was a strong point in their case against the court.

In Swinton's decision he wrote, "Defendant's reliance on the 'for gain' aspect of the definition is misplaced and irrelevant. Gain is not limited to financial gain. If it were, by Defendant's logic, Defendant would be permitted to raise dozens of horses on his property, as long as the venture was not profitable."

Helm said they basically lost the case based on the judge's interpretation of the definition.

"His interpretation was relevant and mine was irrelevant," said Helm. "If you are on a regular farm where they are just there for production, they are scared of people and they squawk and they run the judge can say whatever he wants, but we say they are pets."

Helm said neighborhood children come and visit their chickens and always have enjoyed the experience without any problems.

Since the Helm's live on an R-3 High-Density Residential District, a farm is not allowed and would require a special use permit. He previously said the family tried to work with the town on figuring out a solution, but the town was uncooperative and didn't help them understand what solutions or avenues were available to them

"They would have to go to the zoning board of appeals and press their case their and that would be a use variance and not an area variance, which is a harder standard to get," said Scagnelli.

Although, in the judge's decision, Helm is denied the right to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals is now denied.

Helm has testified the chickens are pets and the town has said they are farm animals, but the judge said in his decision that the keeping of chickens as pets or farm animals in the R-3 zoning is not permitted.

"My wife was in bed crying the whole time I got choked up watching her ball her eyes out," said Helm. "They are pets, I don't know how to stress that enough.""

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