W. Brandywine looks to trim laws

Supervisors seek to remove needless ordinances; discuss chicken ordinance

By Jamie Richard, Staff Writer, The Times
WEST BRANDYWINE – The township’s Board of Supervisors discussed the possibility of repealing some of the township’s ordinances, as well as adding a new “chicken ordinance” at its meeting, Thursday.

According to supervisor Thomas McCaffrey, many of the township’s nuisance ordinances were established due to disputes between one or two residents, rather than it being a community-wide issue.  The board members said they hoped to examine some of these ordinances and either repeal or modify them to be less cumbersome for residents.

“I just think somewhere, somebody has to start reviewing these regulations and start weeding them out,” said McCaffrey.

Although no decisions were made on any ordinances, Supervisors Chairman Josef Obernier Sr. suggested that McCaffrey write an article for the township newsletter asking residents for their input.  McCaffrey’s article will appear in the township’s fall newsletter.

The board also discussed the first draft of an ordinance pertaining to the keeping of chicken on residential property.  The ordinance allows for up to 24 chickens on a property between four to 10 acres.  Any property larger than 10 acres is considered agricultural property and is subject to the township’s agricultural ordinances.

During initial discussions, McCaffrey raised issue with the ordinance, citing it as an example of unnecessary regulation.

“This is a sign of the times; you need a two-page document for a couple of chickens,” said McCaffrey.

According to township manager Ronald Rambo, the ordinance was proposed as a means for residents to raise chickens for their eggs because current township ordinances do not allow for it.  Under the proposed ordinance, residents are not allowed to keep roosters and all chickens must be outfitted with identification tags that list the owner’s name, address and phone number.

McCaffrey was also concerned with the requirement that chicken coops must be placed at least 100 ft. from any residential building.

“A person should have the right to be a slob in their own home.  I don’t want to come down and regulate people in their own homes,” said McCaffrey.

Rambo stated that the distance requirement was a matter of health and safety issues, as chickens can attract rodents and other animals that spread disease.  He also stated that the township has previously had problems with chickens wandering into neighboring properties and onto roads.

“Chickens are definitely an issue these days,” joked supervisor William Webb.

The board of supervisors will hold their next meeting on Aug. 16.

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