Chicken Futures: A Council Vote Today (or not – an update)

Update Late issues with health concerns posed by the county health commissioner regarding ground-feeding and sale of meat and/or eggs will postpone the vote of the ordinance. A new draft will be introduced to committee for further discussion and vote in 2 weeks. 

It should be mentioned that these are general items to be introduced into the ordinance, and do not apply specifically to Watts’ feeding routine or desire to sell eggs or meat.  We’ll keep you posted…

Earlier story:
Today at 2PM, the Buffalo Common Council will decide whether or not to allow city residents to keep chickens.
The question of keeping urban chickens arose as a consequence of city resident Monique Watts being ordered to remove 5 pet hens from her backyard coop in March.
We’ve had a flurry of emails today from people speculating on how the vote will go, and short of saying where they came from (because we don’t actually know the originators), this is what the prognosticators had to say about the 2PM vote:
Rivera, Fontana, LoCurto, Kearns and Franczyk – Yes
Smith and Golombek – No
Russell and Davis – Anybody’s guess
Championed by Rivera, he trump card for a majority vote of 6 seems to be Golombek, who voted yes at the hearing, but is rumored to have subsequently stated concerns about health issues, inspections and neighbor concerns.
LoCurto, who had recent transplant surgery, stated in the last council meeting that he was warned to stay away from chickens because of health concerns.  Still, LoCurto doesn’t feel immediately threatened by the prospect of city residents keeping chickens, stating that several measures have been put into place for neighbors to state their disapproval as part of the licensing process.
Anyone wishing to see the ordinance pass is being encouraged to attend the meeting in council chambers at 2 and to call their councilmember at the following numbers beforehand:

Joe Golombek – 851-5116

Rich Fontana – 851-5151*

Brian Davis – 851-4980

David Franczyk – 851-4138*

Michael Kearns – 851-5169*

Demone Smith – 851-5145

Bonnie Russell – 851-5165

LoCurto – 851-5155*

Those marked with an asterisk are expected to vote yes.  We’ll have an update for you later on today.

About the author  ⁄ Elena Cala Buscarino


Chickens are now legal with some severe restrictions, including written permission from all immediate neighbors. Applications are available at the city clerk's office.


So, has anything happened since this article? Is the code being voted on only for chickens or does in include other fowls as pets/egg layers?


The Health Commissioner should be as concerned by all the possible bird feeder spills as he is by the thought of chicken feed attracting rodents... Another typical Western New York reaction to progress.


'Egg'centric behavior by the Council will 'fowl' up Monique Watts plans...


No action on chickens today. Did Council chicken out--? Did they "bawk"--? Not eggs-actly. To put it in an eggshell:

The legislation was tabled until the next session, at the end of July. Seems there are still some nagging concerns among councilmembers, and they want to spend another couple of weeks taking a look at the legislation.

Councilman Rivera specifically referred to correspondence with County Heath Commissioner Billitier, elements of which he is working to incorporate. A couple of things mentioned include the feeding process for chickens, and safeguards against the raising of chickens for meat.

Rivera invited council members to contact him with any concerns. He thanked the 40 residents who attended last week's committee meeting to show their support. And he re-iterated that after a year, if the law does not prove to be a good piece of legislation, his commitment to review and amend it as needed.

Not a peep of opposition was expressed.


...and David Rivera, 851-5125*

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