SOUTHINGTON — A subcommittee of the Planning and Zoning Commission is considering changes to local regulations on livestock, including poultry, and recreational vehicles.
The Continuous Improvement Committee was formed to comb through regulations and suggest improvements.
“They tackle the issues that have been frustrating us,” said PZC Chairman Michael DelSanto.
The town allows chickens, but roosters are not allowed, said Steve Kalkowski a PZC member and chairman of the subcommittee. Requests for other animals go through the Zoning Board of Appeals. The ZBA has allowed goats in some areas.
“We don’t allow things if they’re not clearly spelled out in the regulations,” Kalkowski said. “Quite honestly, we know there are folks out there that have other animals. We want to have a proactive approach instead of being penalty based where we go around and shut people down.”
There have been many requests for those who want to raise chickens. Kalkowski said he feels local regulations should be “agricultural friendly.”
“Towns do struggle with it,” said Robert Phillips, town director of planning and community development. “There’s not a magic bullet.”
The subcommittee has to take into account property lines, location of buildings housing livestock, noise, runoff and more
Phillips said state regulations can provide guidance for local rules.
Kalkowski said the committee is considering an “educational awareness body” such as an agricultural commission made up of local farming experts, town staff, and representatives from the high school’s vocational agricultural program.
“Let this educational body provide our citizens really detailed knowledge,” Kalkowski said.
The town prohibits storing recreational vehicles in front or side yards. Phillips said the committee will revisit the regulations.
Phillips said they need to determine the amount of time a recreational vehicle can be parked in a front or side yard for cleaning and unloading. Kalkowski also mentioned that many homeowners don’t have space to store their RV in the rear and will look into exceptions.
“My feeling is you want it to be fair and consistent…,” Phillip said.