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Proposal seeks to keep domestic fowl on owner's property

The town is looking to outlaw domestic fowl that cross property lines.

Responding to recent complaints, the Town Council on July 10, 2017 voted to refer to committee a proposal that would make it an offense for owners of domestic fowl to allow them to leave their property.

"I guess to summarize it briefly, (fowl are) not being attentive to property lines, they are free ranging within neighborhoods and crossing on to other neighbor's properties," said Town Manager Matthew Sturgis.

Penny Jordan, a councilor and a local farmer, said she supported the proposal and moved to send it to committee. "I really am a firm supporter of people growing their own food. But I really think that people need to be cognizant of when they have animals that can run around - whether it be chickens or geese or turkeys or ducks - that they need to be aware that they are in a neighborhood," she said. "They really need to pen them in.

"So I would put forward that if the ordinance committee could look at this, it would be beneficial to neighborhoods," Jordan said.

The proposal differs from an action the council took at the end of 2014 to outlaw roosters on some residential lots. That action prohibited roosters on lots smaller than 40,000 square feet, but this proposal seeks to keep residential fowl from wandering on to other properties.