LETTER TO THE EDITOR
To the Editor:
My wife and I own an end unit townhouse in Alburtis. The unit adjacent to us has a chicken coop with over 1/2 dozen chickens. When I open my back door or sit on my deck, I am just feet from a chicken coop with its odor and noise.
The Borough of Alburtis Ordinance #292A does not address this matter and Chapter 92 under 92-102 “Fowl” only addresses barnyard or domestic fowl not being allowed to run upon the streets, lanes or alleys of Alburtis. No mention of chicken coops.
I have requested of Alburtis verbally and via email any updated ordinances that pertain to this matter that I could not locate online. The current ordinances do not address the matter of residential chicken coops or specific guidelines for how the facility will be maintained on a routine basis, waste collection removal, amounts of mulch or animal bedding, how complaints from neighbors will be addressed and how many chickens per lot and setbacks.
When my wife and I attended Alburtis Council meetings and complained, we were told our only recourse was to call the Alburtis Police when the odor became intolerable. Really?
This flies in the face of commonsense and defies logic to permit a chicken coop in a high density area of a townhouse development on a property of less than an acre of land. Other municipality and borough ordinances I reviewed had prerequisites relating to minimum acre of property to be considered which dictated the number of chickens. This situation affects our home quality of life and is detrimental to any efforts on our part to sell this townhouse and showcase it to prospective buyers. My wife used to enjoy being in a hammock under our deck in nice weather but that is out of the question because of the odor.
This cries out for answers from the Borough of Alburtis relating to their permit process and an ordinance clearly addressing residential chicken coops in high or low density areas.
Victor R. Lauer