Backyard Chicken Coops Debated in Oceanport

first_imgBy Jenna O’DonnellOCEANPORT – A measure to allow residents to keep backyard chickens has some in the borough crying “fowl” ahead of a council meeting to decide on the matter next month.Though Oceanport’s code does not presently allow for backyard chickens, support has grown from some in the community who believe that rule should be changed.An ordinance amendment originally debated last year was introduced by a narrow margin in a split council vote during a March 16 meeting. That measure modifies an existing ordinance to allow residents to have as many as six hens, depending on lot size. Residents would also have to take a class in keeping chickens before picking up an annual $10 permit.Advocates argue that chickens are charming pets that can help residents be more environmentally conscious, but opponents worry that chicken coops on small lots will create friction between neighbors.“People are passionate about it,” said Councilman Joe Irace. “In all the years I’ve been on this council, this is the most I’ve heard from people on any issue.”Irace was one of three Oceanport council members who voted against introducing the amendment, concerned that allowing chickens on small lots could cause potential problems between neighbors and raise enforcement issues for their small town.Those reservations are shared by Mayor John “Jay” Coffey, who cast a tiebreaker vote in March to bring the chicken issue before the council for a full public discussion during the April 20 council meeting.“I just want to have, once and for all, a full blown public discussion,” Coffey said. “This sounds great in theory, but I think this is something we don’t need from a headache standpoint.”Part of the opposition to chickens stems from neighbors who have lived next to coops already in town and complained about noise and odor.But supporters, including Councilwoman Ellynn Kahle, hope the ordinance amendment, by establishing rules and limitations for keeping chickens, will do more to prevent problems from arising than simply continuing to ban them. A chicken advisory board is one aspect of the amended ordinance that Kahle hopes will help smooth things over for residents concerned about chicken-related issues.“With the chicken ordinance there is going to be an advisory board there to help them,” Kahle said.The proposed rules for chicken-keeping go further than any that govern cats and dogs in town to ensure that neighbors are considerate, Kahle notes.Residents in favor of the amendment are counting on more than just fresh eggs. Shannon Scheffling, a resident who started the Oceanport Backyard Chicken Supporters Facebook Group, did chicken research as a student at Rutgers University. Even after they stop laying eggs, Scheffling says chickens provide chemical-free fertilizer for gardeners, are great for composting, and provide backyard pest control.“Chickens eat grubs, ticks, fleas, termites and even mosquitos,” she said. “If it’s a bug you don’t want in your yard, chickens will eat it.”Several area towns including Middletown, Red Bank, Fair Haven and Tinton Falls currently allow chickens on residential properties. Advocates like Gwenne Baile of Haddon Township help to create pilot programs in hopes of clearing up some misconceptions about backyard chickens, like noise and odor issues, which she says aren’t a problem so long as coops are cleaned and cared for properly.“I truly believe that anyone who is opposed to this is not educated on what it means to have backyard chickens,” Baile said. “This is no more agriculture than you having a few vegetables growing in your backyard. They are pampered pets and they’re the only pet that can give you breakfast. But that’s not the only thing they can do.”Residents are invited to share their views during a public discussion prior to the council’s vote at the April 20 borough council meeting.“There’s going to be a discussion about it which I think is good,” Kahle said. “I just really hope that people haven’t already made up their minds.”last_img read more

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SNOW CHIEF STAKES QUOTES

first_imgFLAVIEN PRAT, NEVERADOUBT, WINNER: “(Mike) Puype was pretty confident before the race. I didn’t know this horse but the pace helped him a lot and the track was a little bit soft and that helped as well. The pace was pretty fast so that’s good when you’re behind.“He doesn’t look like he’s got a turn of foot but he’s got one pace. I didn’t think I would win but I thought we would be close, third, second.“There wasn’t any bumping (in response to Rafael Bejarano’s claim of foul) It was pretty tough but he was never tired. He won pretty easy today.”VICTOR ESPINOZA, ZINVOR, FIFTH: “He broke too sharp. There were fast fractions and I was trying to relax him but he was a little bit too keen. The outside horse was pushing me and that’s when he got a little aggressive. I wanted him to break clean and be comfortable either on the lead or behind but be relaxed but that never happened. On the first turn he was working too much, too hard and it was just too much for him.”TRAINER QUOTES             MIKE PUYPE, NEVERADOUBT, WINNER: “Flavien rode a great race and saved a lot of ground. Tom Hudson, who manages the horses, wanted to go in the race. Tom said, ‘He should go the distance. He’s doing good.’ But Flavien Prat rode the race and it was a great ride. We just took a shot he could cover the distance.“It was a good ride and patient handling and he did a great job with the horse. He had a big abscess in his foot (right hind) a few weeks ago and it took time to get it taken care of. The shoer did a good job, he put a bar shoe on him and got him to where we could get him back to the track to train and it was wonderful.(On running this kind of race in only his fourth start): “He broke his maiden the first time and what a great ride today. We couldn’t be happier with the event.“The second race on the dirt, he was rank, threw his head and didn’t like the dirt. Third race was an open allowance race; it wasn’t a Cal-Bred race. It was a sprint and it wasn’t that bad of a race. Realistically, handicapping the race, I didn’t think any of these horses were that great at a mile-and-an-eighth. We were just hoping the distance would be the equalizer to allow us to have a chance. Remember this, if you look at the history of the Snow Chief and look at the stats, plenty of longshots and maiden winners have won this. You better believe it. It’s because of the distance. There are a lot of good horses bred in California that are fast but a lot that can’t run the full distance and the distance really helped this horse today.(On the inquiry) “There was nothing there. That was a joke of an inquiry.” NOTES: The winning owners are Donald Patrick of San Luis Obispo (SLO Racing); Tom Hudson; and Tony and Suzie Narducci. JOCKEY QUOTES -30-last_img read more

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