Another Slingerlands family will be eating fresh eggs after the town granted approval for them to raise chickens in their backyard.
The town’s Planning Board approved Laura Stevens’ application for agricultural use to raise chickens on her Gullane Drive property last week. This is the third application the town has received since 2013.
“I would like to raise chickens because they are a natural form of pest control and because my family enjoys fresh eggs,” said Stevens.
The plan calls for the coop to be in the family’s backyard and asks permission to raise four chickens.
The trend to raise chickens as pets has increased in recent years, with local municipalities taking up the issue. Most cities have denied chickens, while towns are more willing to work with residents.
Bethlehem first faced the issue in December 2013 when the Planning Board gave approval for 11-year-old Luke Manley to raise four chickens in Delmar.
The second application came to the town the following June when Dana Scalere, of Slingerlands, sought approval to raise chickens for similar purposes. So far, all of the applicants have had support from their neighbors.
Senior Planner Kenneth Kovalchik said so far there have been no issues. However, Stevens’ application was different in that it was granted with the stipulation she obtain a building permit for her coop. This is being done because in past instances, the town had no way to ensure the coops were built where applicants said they would be. Although this has yet to be an issue, the permit allows the Building Department to do a follow-up and this will be helpful in the future.