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Zoning board to tackle a poultry matter in West Roxbury

The Zoning Board of Appeals tomorrow considers a request from a Stratford Road resident who wants to keep seven chickens in his backyard.

Chuck Abichaker, 151 Stratford St., is scheduled for a 10:30 a.m. hearing on his request for a variance to build a hen house for six birds - no roosters - at least 20 feet away from the nearest property line.

The hearing is in the board's eighth-floor hearing room in City Hall.

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Comments

I know there was a request which was shot down over by the Flaherty pool somewhere. Yet there's a different house in a different Roslindale neighborhood which has chickens which are clearly visible from the street and has had them for years. In asking for permission, it seems you run the likely risk of getting declined vs. not asking and simply keeping chickens. I don't like in ear shot of the Rosi chickens but I can't see how they'd be any issue for the neighbors - no roosters, just hens.

Also write your city councillors to request a henographic record of this meeting.

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Hopefully as this becomes more common they city/neighborhood will relax its silly regulations on this. I would love to have a few backyard chickens but hate the idea that I could be putting so much energy (and probably becoming attached to animals) that could so easily be undone by a grumpy neighbor or passing city inspector (or whatever). Rooting for these guys.

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I have 6 Rhode Island Reds. Raised from chicks. We got them oct. 2014. Just got 3 more chicks today. I'm on Corey st.. I'm glad this becoming popular. But I'm concerned about folks getting in over their head. I'm available to answer questions and address concerns if need be. Contact my email. It's in your and the flocks best interest to get answers before a coop. [email protected]

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In the instance in Roslindale the lot was small and only about 50X50 or so, so there is no footage easily obtainable between property lines.

And most people who know their chickens, know the other location you speak of.

Also the question has arisen as to whether the ZBA is the correct body to grant such permitting. At last check the city council was supposed to be drafting new rules in this area but I don't know where it stands.

This could be a test case to push the council into action.

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I seriously doubt Cibo Matto know where this house is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COMWwwv_MTk

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you should not need a variance to keep chickens. perhaps register them just in case you are not keeping a sanitary coop, but otherwise, they are great for the environment. They eat ticks and other bad bugs, and their manure is great for the garden. What is the big deal. I am sure that a reasonable limit as to the number of chickens is a good idea, but really, a variance ? I would like to keep 4 myself. Fresh eggs and a pesticide free garden ! win/win !

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I need a permit for my chickens. But my neighbor with the attack dog doesn't? My chickens annoy no one, but that other neighbor with the dog that barks all day needs no permit? Chickens are predators to bugs ONLY. Dogs and cats are predators to many animals. Just saying. I got 3 more chicks today.

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Just keeping the birds without asking for permission sounds pretty cocky to me.

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...

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I've been to this house. The Abichakers are asking for permission now because they used to keep chickens in their big yard, but their BPD officer neighbor shot and killed their rooster, claiming it was threatening her toddler.

I didn't hear the rest of the story, but it seems like maybe the officer needed to cover her ass after that and got ISD to condemn or whatever the whole flock.

Having not had first hand knowledge, I don't really know where the truth of all this lies, or who is to blame. Just thought it was very interesting. They claimed neighbors liked the rooster, because no one was ever late for work.

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Do you have any sources on any of this? What's the officer's name?

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My source was an Abichaker. I heard it second hand. Because of that, I didn't really put much stock in it, except as an interesting anecdote. It must be at least 5 years ago that I heard this story, maybe even 7 to 10 years ago.

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just out of curiosity, how many people reading this believe that a cop shot a rooster for threatening his child? Serious inquiry.

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I never claimed this story is fact-checked and sourced. I specifically disavowed it twice as not having any truthiness aside from being interesting, in the history of chickens in that yard.

I heard it from an Abichaker at his graduation party in that same yard. I present it as nothing more that that. If you think I have something to gain from passing on a story, well, explain it to me, because I have no ulterior motive, aside from sharing something of interest.

Also, your reading comprehension/cognition needs work. I referred to the officer in the story with the terms "her", twice. It's a woman. Check your stereotypes of Boston cops at the door.

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THAT is the real conundrum here.

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the chicken parmesan

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Records management at the Boston Zoning Board are in question. A review of records management practices is needed to improve RM practices there
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Records_management

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becomes rat chow

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bird feeders, open-topped garbage cans, vegetable gardens, discarded fast food wrappers, acorns from oak trees, etc ad infinitum.

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There is a significant population of coyotes at the park around the water tower at the top of Bellvue Hill, as well as across Washington Street in the Stoney Brook Reservation. Is it fair to assume that having chickens could potentially lure the coyotes further into the neighborhood. I have lived next to chickens in more rural areas, and even without roosters they make quite the racket.

While I appreciate Mr. Abichaker's quest for fresh eggs, it is my opinion that this would be better served in a less population dense environment.

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Also skunks, raccoons and maybe foxes. It's purely a question of effort and risk.

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People used to keep hens in their yards, even in more densely populated neighborhoods like the North and West Ends. I would imagine that the less densely built districts would have had them in nearly every yard.

When did Boston ban the practice?

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Mr. Abichaker was at the West Roxbury Neighborhood Council meeting last week seeking approval to revisit the issue with the Zoning Board. he has letters from all of his neighbors approving his coop. This includes the neighbor that abuts the rear of his property. From the diagrams that he brought, his coop area is fenced in and next to his garage which has a special entry to allow the hens in and out to sleep and have warmth. This fence keeps them separate from the rest of his yard and there is still a full fence around his property. Seemed fairly safe from coyotes, but i don't know the height of his fences nor do i know if coyotes can scale said fences. And no one seemed to understand why he's not in an already zoned area, including the council members. zoning vagaries seemed like the accepted reason.

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My concern for the coyotes isn't so much for the chickens, but the potential for the coyotes to be lured into the neighborhood and the risk to the children and household pets.

Think of the children!!!

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looking up the extreme rarity of coyote attacks on people

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