Back to Fort Fairfield Journal      WFFJ-TV      Contact Us


Fort Fairfield’s Continuing

Chicken Ordinance Saga


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, December 4, 2019

   The proposed ordinance 19-07 animal ordinance was discussed at a public hearing on October 8.   No one spoke for the ordinance.  Three people spoke against, with one providing written objection.  One speaking neither for nor against had a comment on some poorly worded language in the ordinance which could be read as the town agreeing to purchase animals for people to be used as pets in town. 

   At their October meeting, the Fort Fairfield town council voted to table the new ordinance indefinitely.

   The impetus for the restructuring of the existing animal ordinance was due to a complaint about the raising of a few chickens, as pets, in town.  The current ordinance on such poultry and other types of livestock, only deals with those raised for a profit, such as for sale or lease, and does not prohibit the keeping of same raised merely as pets for no profit.

   The Fort Fairfield town council then considered the subject again with a new proposed ordinance, number 19-08 at their November council meeting  where they opted to shift the burden over to the Fort Fairfield Planning Board.  “This appears to be a land use change.  I'd like to make a motion that the council direct the town staff to send animal ordinance 19-08 to the Planning Board for review,” said councilor, Scott Smith.  “The planning board can review the current ordinance, compare it to the new ordinance 19-08, they can make recommendations to council or choose to decide this issue on their own.  They can also choose to hold a public hearing to gather more information if they wish.”

   The motion was seconded by Mitch Butler and approved unanimously.