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Yorktown Woman Cries Foul Over Chicken Regulations

Teresa Ambrose (center) discusses her plans for a chicken coop with Yorktown Town Board.
Teresa Ambrose (center) discusses her plans for a chicken coop with Yorktown Town Board. Photo Credit: Rick Pezzullo

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - A Yorktown woman is asking the Town Board to amend zoning regulations to allow a chicken coop at her home in the Croton Heights section of town.

Yorktown requires at least five acres to house chickens, yet a horse is allowed on only two acres, a rule that upsets Teresa Ambrose, who has lived in the town all her life.

"It doesn't make sense not to," Ambrose, 52, said of her request to make the laws similar. "It's not like we're asking to keep elephants."

Ambrose, who works at Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown, said she has been looking to have a chicken co0p for about a dozen animals for the last seven or eight years since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which she said is in remission.

She said she only eats organic products and would like the opportunity to have fresh eggs in her backyard.

Board members were primarily receptive to Ambrose's request, noting she would need a special permit.

"I'm all for it. We just have to figure it all out," said Town Supervisor Michael Grace. "We can control the number of chickens by controlling the size of the coop."

However, Board Member Nick Bianco criticized the board's quick embrace, saying more thought needed to be given to setting a precedent.

"This is nuts. You have to have some restrictions here. Whose going to enforce it?" Bianco said. "Why don't we have gorillas? Why don't we have chickens fighting with each other?"

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