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They’re allowed to have chickens, but you’re not

Ordinance amended to allow some to keep backyard poultry

GRANVILLE — Along with farmer’s markets and home gardening, backyard poultry is part of the growing trend to eat healthier through locally sourced food. The village of Granville amended its ordinance against keeping farm animals to allow for backyard poultry — but only if you have children who are members of 4-H or the FFA.

At a previous village board meeting, families and a local 4-H leader addressed the board to share the benefits of keeping chickens and to ask them to amend the ordinance to allow them to keep six hens. The board voted at the Oct. 3 meeting to approve the change, however, they were very specific about who can and can’t keep chickens.

“I think we need to have a lot more discussion on this,” board member Jim Pettit said.

He proposed the village only allow families with children who are members of 4-H or the FFA to have chickens.

He also said those families should be required to obtain a permit from the village so they can be kept track of.

“Why does it matter if they’re in 4-H or the FFA? We’ll be forcing kids to join 4-H or the FFA if their families want chickens and we don’t want to do that,” board member Tina Dolder said.

When the issue of what will happen to the chickens when the children are either older and finished with school or no longer members of those organizations was raised, the suggestions from the board were finding a farmer to give them to or butchering them.

Granville Village attorney Brad Popurella was asked after the meeting if the amendment could be considered discriminatory since it only allows people with children belonging to certain organizations to keep poultry, but not other citizens.

“It depends on the circumstances, but it could be,” he answered.

Granville village president Jared Baker was asked the same question.

“I hope not, but it possibly could be. The only people we’ve had show interest in this are families with children in those groups and we’ve had it on the agenda for four meetings and we’ve been discussing it for two months, so everyone’s had a chance to speak about it,” he answered.

In other board news

The trick-or-treat hours have been set by the village and Baker said for the remainder of his term Halloween festivities will always be held on Oct. 31. The parade will begin at 5 p.m. and trick-or-treating will be held from 6 to 8 p.m.

Popurella said he will soon have a new ordinance for the board to review regarding gaming. The ordinance will compliment the state ordinance in regards to local raffles, contests and Bingo games. He said it will provide for accountability and help the village to be aware of local games. It will require organizers to provide the village with contact information, rules and regulations and to ensure the prizes being promoted are what’s being awarded.

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