Newburgh family urges town to change law banning them from owning chickens

Elysia Nespoli says without the eggs from her eight chickens, it would be tough for her family to get by with the average price of a dozen eggs reaching nearly $4.

News 12 Staff

Apr 17, 2023, 9:59 PM

Updated 363 days ago

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A Town of Newburgh family is pushing for a local law to be changed after being told to get rid of their backyard chickens that help feed the household.
Elysia Nespoli says without the eggs from her eight chickens, it would be tough for her family to get by with the average price of a dozen eggs reaching nearly $4.
Nespoli says her family got the chickens about a year ago and has had no problems with neighbors or the town until recently.
The town notified her of a complaint they received about the chickens getting out. They said the family is violating a law that requires a property to be at least 2 acres to have chickens, since Nespoli has just over 1 acre.
The family was ordered to get rid of the chickens or pay a fine.
Nespoli says the family is seeking a zoning variance, but they're also pushing for the whole law to be changed for the other families who have chickens on properties less than 2 acres.
"We all have them 'unlawfully,’ feeding our families, making a difference in the environment…Why can't we keep them?" Nespoli says.
Town Councilman Scott Manley told Nespoli in an email he agrees her family should keep her chickens.
Manley told News 12 this is good timing since the town’s government is in the middle of overhauling its laws. He's asking Nespoli and others to submit testimony about why town code on chickens should change.
Nespoli is circulating a petition and organizing neighbors through the Nextdoor app to submit requests for a law change.
Nespoli says her family will be holding onto their chickens in the meantime.


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