To the Editor:
Many municipalities around the country have recently changed their laws to allow residents to keep backyard chickens. Guilderland, Voorheesville, and even Albany, among many other municipalities, now permit chickens as interest in sustainable living has grown amidst concerns about factory farming and healthy food.
Current village zoning regulations prohibit chickens in Altamont, but there is a lot of interest in having this changed [“ZBA applicant seeking chickens could spur change to Altamont law,” The Altamont Enterprise, Jan. 13, 2022].
There are many benefits to backyard chickens, including: organic eggs; food for one’s family; fertilizer; pest control; they’re quiet, well-behaved pets; and they’re great for teaching kids responsibility. They help in the garden, promote sustainable living, reduce kitchen waste, and can help with community building among many other benefits!
They also make sense in light of the economics of food and burgeoning inflation.
A law to permit chickens was drafted and introduced to the Altamont Village Board in 2019 but, at that time, no one attended the meeting to speak in favor of the proposal so it was tabled.
We would like to encourage the village board to revisit this issue and are hoping to gather signatures and letters in support of changing this regulation and allowing residents to keep chickens in Altamont.
Please sign our petition at change.org/SayYesToAltamontHens, write a letter to the board, and come out to speak in support at the next village board meeting on Tuesday, Feb 1., at 7 p.m.
If you can’t come to the meeting (or even if you can), please write a letter to the village board, care of the village clerk, and tell them why you support Chickens in Altamont!
Here’s a contact link with an easy form to submit your letter: https://www.altamontvillage.org/home/webforms/contact-us or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail: Village of Altamont, attention Village Clerk, Post Office Box 643, 115 Main St., Altamont, NY 12009.
There’s lots of support for chickens in this village! Let’s make it happen!
John Polk and
Editor’s note: The letter-writers have applied to the village for a use variance to allow for up to six chickens on their nearly 20-acre Bozenkill Road property. “It’s not just about us … it’s more about trying to get the zoning law changed,” said John Polk.