June 26, 2022

Public Hearing On Proposed Change to Chester Poultry Regulation set for Feb. 4

roosterCHESTER– The planning and zoning commission’s twice postponed public hearing on a requested change to regulations governing poultry on residential property is set for Monday Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Valley Regional High School in Deep River.

Residents John and Bonnie Bennet of 23 Story Hill Road have petitioned for a change in zoning regulations that would prohibit roosters and other noisy fowl while continuing to allow hens. The proposed change would also increase the minimum lot size and setback requirements for properties containing poultry. Bennet, a lawyer with an office in Essex, is the long-time town attorney for Chester and a frequent moderator at town meetings.

The commission has twice postponed the required public hearing since the Bennets first petitioned for the change in November. A Dec. 6 hearing date at the Chester Meeting House, where the commission usually holds meetings, was rescheduled to Jan 10 at Chester Elementary School amid signs the proposed change was generating opposition that would bring out a large crowd.

But on Jan. 10 more than 350 people packed the all-purpose room at the school, leading the resident state trooper to order the hearing rescheduled for a larger meeting hall as dozens of vehicles clogged residential streets around the elementary school. Trooper Matt Ewing determined the number of motor vehicles parked in the area would prevent emergency access to the meeting room. The auditorium at the high school is expected to accommodate the anticipated crowd.

Meeting cancelled following withdrawal of petition

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