January 21, 2022

Public Hearing on Proposed Chester Poultry Regulation Postponed to Jan 10

CHESTER— An anticipated need for a larger room has led the planning and zoning commission to postpone a public hearing that had been set for Thursday on a proposed zoning regulations that would limit the keeping of some poultry on residential property. The public hearing on the regulation proposed by local residents John and Bonnie Bennet is now set for Thursday Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the all purpose room at Chester Elementary School. The public hearing was to be held at the Chester Meeting House on Liberty St.

Bennet, a lawyer with an office in Essex who is the long-time town attorney for Chester, has proposed a revised regulation that would broaden the definition of poultry to allow the continued keeping of hens, but prohibit keeping of roosters, capons, orĀ  any other fowl that “crows, screeches, squawks, or makes similar sounds.” Another section of the proposed regulation would prohibit keeping of “any animal, as a pet or otherwise,” that “howls, barks, brays, bellows, calls, screeches, squawks or makes other sounds during the day or night at frequent and/or extended periods of time so as to be a nuisance to one or more persons occupying a house or houses in any immediate neighborhood thereby preventing such person or persons from the comfortable enjoyment of their home.”

The proposed regulation is clearly generating opposition among many residents, with signs posted around town urging the commission to “keep Chester chicken friendly.” It was the anticipation of a large crowd that led to the rescheduling of the public hearing to a larger meeting room.

See related story