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North Versailles Twp. will consider an ordinance that would allow residents to keep chickens on their own property.
At the July meeting, Solicitor Greg Evashavik presented a draft of the ordinance to commissioners for their consideration. The ordinance, expected to be put to a vote at the Aug. 20 meeting, is available for review at the municipal building.
Raising backyard chickens as a hobby has become increasingly popular in recent years and is permitted in many Mon-Yough municipalities.
Commissioners said they agreed to consider such an ordinance after receiving a presentation from Adeline McCracken, a local Girl Scout, at the June meeting.
Evashavik said the proposed ordinance would allow residents to request a township permit to keep chickens on their property. The zoning officer would have to approve all permit applications and a fee would be assessed.
A maximum of four hens would be allowed and roosters would be prohibited. Chickens could only be kept by the owner of a single-family house who lives on the same property, and their neighbors would be informed before the permit was granted.
Hens would have to be contained to the homeowner’s own yard and would be restricted to pens during nighttime hours.
The proposed ordinance includes minimum specifications for chicken coops, as well as regulations on odors and noises, and sets fines for violations.
Possible Eastland sale discussed
Before the meeting, commissioners discussed the possible sale of the former Eastland Mall property on East Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard.
The mall closed in 2005 and was demolished in 2007.
Commissioners said a prospective buyer — whose name cannot be released due to a confidentiality agreement — is no longer interested in the Eastland site.
However, Commissioner Allen Wagner said the buyer has become interested in another possible site in the township. The buyer is seeking property that could accommodate a 500,000-square-foot building, Wagner said.
The township will do its best to convince the developer to locate in North Versailles, he said.
Sam Juliano, commission vice president, voiced his disappointment with once again seeing a potential sale of the Eastland property fall through.
“I would like to see something happen there but sometimes it is out of our control,” he said.
Kristen Keleschenyi is a freelance writer in North Versailles Twp. and one of the hosts of the Kristen & Amber Show on WMCK Internet Radio at 5 p.m. Saturdays. She may be reached at email@example.com.
Originally published July 21, 2020.